Feb. 24—Boulder-based Attention Homes rebranded as Tgthr with the same programs and focuses aimed at ending youth homelessness but now directing more attention at better understanding and meeting the needs of these residents, including those exiting the foster care system.
In a virtual unveiling via zoom on Tuesday, Tgthr (pronounced Together) CEO Chris Nelson said, "This is an amazing opportunity for our vibrant youth here experiencing homelessness to have the realization that they are not alone."
Nelson also said the nonprofit rebranded because it came to their attention the current name and branding was "not respectful or engaging to our young people." He added that the mission statement, tagline and logo were all outdated and focused on housing alone and not the fullness of its programs.
Nelson also said that the previous name and branding did not correlate with the organization's founding story of being focused on attention rather than detention for homeless youth.
Since its founding in 1966, the organization has been focused on offering homeless youth tools, programs and opportunities to get off the street — not just shelter — in an effort to prevent them from being remitted to detention centers, which was common practice until recently. So far Tgthr has served more than 12,000 local youth.
"Attention Homes has always been responsive to the evolving needs of youth facing homelessness in our community, but our branding was less than ideal or appealing to them so we needed to change that," Nelson said. He also said the goal has always been and will remain to provide youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to become healthy, productive members in the community.
"We changed our name to signal the start of our movement to truly end youth homelessness and along with young people as well as the community — we will stand united to support a world where every young person is a valued and supported member of our community," Nelson said.
The end result, Nelson said, is to ensure that each of these young persons his organization helps can lead a fulfilling life.
One former participant, who identified themselves as Cameron, wrote, "When I found TGTHR it was a new beginning, it was just like a new life. And I felt like I had an opportunity to actually live the life I would imagine living."
According to Nelson, there are several ways the organization believes their new shift can help further impact Tgthr's reach to young residents experiencing homelessness, including:
* Rooting growth in relationships with the youth involved in the organization and various programs available;
* Celebrating a youth's resilience;
* Creating diversity in programs, resources and community involvement;
* Promoting these youths' voices in their lives and the community; and
* Promoting the idea that housing is a fundamental right.
The nonprofit works with youth between the ages of 12 and 24 to help them find employment opportunities and assistance, educational programs, short-term housing, long-term housing navigation, support and inclusivity groups, family coaching services, life-skills development, mental and physical wellness support, and individual and group activities to foster community.
"We're aware that some of the root causes of youth homelessness may not go away — but imagine contributing to a society where a positive and motivating system transitions young people from unstable environments to positive ones, seamlessly," Nelson said.
Residents who want more information about how to get involved or donate and youth experiencing homelessness who are looking for information can visit TGTHR's website at tgthr.org/ or call 303-447-1207.