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Religion News
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Starting in Atlanta, Georgia, the Stay Off the Streets Fund Grants Aid to Keep Teens Off the Streets During a Down Economy

by Staff
October 16, 2009
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ATLANTA, (christiansunite.com) -- According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 1.35 million (or 39%) children under the age of 18 are homeless every day. Of the 20,000 foster care teenagers who "age-out" of the foster care system each year, 25% of these youth have been homeless. Kevin M. Weeks, writer of a crime fiction book series called The Street Life Series, knows firsthand because he was once a young vagrant adult and years later founded the Stay off the Streets Fund. In October 2009, the Stay off the Streets Fund as part of the American Endowment Foundation issued a grant to CHRIS Kids in order to aid youth initiatives such as the CHRIS Kids Graham Circle Project in East Atlanta, Georgia.

The Graham Circle Project is transforming the Independent Living Program (ILP) into a permanent supportive housing community with 39 housing units for youth, ages 17 - 24, who grow up in the foster care system or who are homeless. This includes computer lab and training rooms, as well as becomes the new home of the CHRIS Counseling Center. The center provides professional mental health and substance abuse counseling to the community in addition to residents. CHRIS Kids was founded by the Junior League of Atlanta, as a Menninger Foundation Demonstration Project in 1981.

Because of extenuating circumstances, Kevin M. Weeks is not currently available to volunteer in the community. However, he decided to make a difference against all odds. Since 2006, he pens The Street Life Series in which the writing process entails an average of 600 handwritten pages in over 1800 hours per year. Through his literary work, book proceeds benefit the Stay off the Streets Fund. In June 2009, Kevin M. Weeks was the recipient of the African American Pavilion at BookExpo America 2009 Urban Book Series award.

Those interested can personally get involved by visiting www.stayoffthestreets.org or www.chriskids.org.

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