All posts by Hearts & Homes for Youth

Good News at Jumpstart!

RE54D4GOX0Today we are happy to announce that one of our young men at Jumpstart Semi-Independent Living Program successfully completed our program and has returned home to his family! The young man, Trevor, was struggling behaviorally but recently made a major turn around. Trevor has maintained employment since entering the program, completed all of his court-required community service hours, invested in himself and made major breakthroughs in therapy, completed portions of the GED, and his behaviors and interactions with staff and peers have improved dramatically. We are so proud of this young man and the positive life choices he has made, especially his choice to invest in his future!

Training Workshop: Common Child Mental Health Disorders Experienced by Youth in the Child Welfare System

familyOn Wednesday, February 24, Dr. Geetha Gopalan will lead a Category I CEU training authorized by MD BSWE on “Common Child Mental Health Disorders Experienced by Youth in the Child Welfare System.” 2 Category I CEUs will be awarded.
The cost is $25, to register, please RSVP to Valerie Snogren
Geetha Gopalan, LCSW, Ph.D. received both her MSW, in 2006, and her Ph.D. in 2009, from the Columbia University School of Social Work in New York City. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work in Baltimore. Through the doctoral program, Dr. Gopalan focused on mental health service program development, implementation, and dissemination for inner-city, minority youth, and their families. Since her graduation from Columbia in 2009, she has participated in two NIMH-funded intervention research training institutes, the NIH Loan Repayment Program, and a three-year, NIMH-funded National Research Science Award Individual Post-Doctoral Fellowship.
Dr. Gopalan’s interests focus on family-level interventions to improve youth mental health and reduce youth risk behavior, particularly for families with intensive service involvement and extreme psychosocial needs (such as those involved in the child welfare system). She is currently the Principal Investigator of an NIMH-funded study to implement a Multiple Family Groups (MFG) intervention originally provided by advanced mental health practitioners (Masters or PhDs) to reduce child disruptive behavior difficulties, so that it can be delivered by caseworkers providing placement prevention services to child welfare involved families.
Dr. Gopalan’s training today will focus on common child mental health disorders manifested by children and youth involved in the child welfare system. Information will be presented on characteristic symptoms, assessment tools, and an overview of relevant evidence-based treatments for each disorder.


Share-A-Haircut – Feb. 1st and 2nd!

11222407_10154060717164746_6554481522931634159_nWe are excited to announce that Hair Cuttery is conducting its third annual Share-A-Haircut program to provide haircuts to youth in the care of Hearts & Homes for Youth! A fresh haircut can help our children and teens shine from within and feel more confident with a new style!

On February 1st and February 2nd every time a haircut is purchased at any Hair Cuttery salon, Hair Cuttery will donate a free haircut certificate to Hearts and Homes for Youth!

In 2015, Hair Cuttery donated 50,000 free haircut certificates to members of our communities! Let’s make it happen again!

Youth from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints extend the giving season

IMG_3929The Columbia 2nd Ward Young Women and Young Men Organizations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints spent the holidays collecting  “Jeans for Teens”!

The donation from The Columbia 2nd Ward Young Women and Young Men Organizations is extraordinarily appreciated! Especially with the weather getting colder, jeans are a tremendous commodity! The material is durable, versatile and comfortable.

Hearts & Homes for Youth serves youth who have experience abuse, neglect or other trauma, and many of the youth come into our care with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. For all of our youth, and especially the youth in our emergency shelter, jeans are invaluable.

The Columbia 2nd Ward Young Women and Young Men Organizations decided in early December to collect jeans for fellow teens who are overcoming adversity. They said that having jeans to wear will help teens feel more like the fit in among their peers and can be worn longer between washing. The inspiring group of youth recognized that they, as well as their families, friends and neighbors, have good jeans that are never worn. They encouraged the community to donated good, clean jeans of varying sizes. In addition to several sweatshirts, clothing, and toys, the youth group collected a total of 90 jeans! They also took the time to write inspirational thoughts on pieces of paper that they put into a pocket of each pair of jeans!

Hearts & Homes for Youth is grateful to this youth group for the generous support and for thinking of the needs their peers across the state of Maryland, and how to make the New Year a little bright for them.

Happy New Year!

stock-photo-72775929-happy-new-year-from-the-worldThank you to our long time supporter Tom G. from Takoma Park who sent us a generous donation over the holidays! Though he moved to Colorado, he still thinks of the teenagers in our care. Thank you Tom, it is people like you that keep us going and we greatly appreciate it!
The support we received at the end of the year from so many of our supporters has given us a great start for 2016! Happy New Year!

Thank you for the holiday cheer!

Thank you everyone for fulfilling our youth’s wish lists and responding to our requests for especially needed items! This holiday season is going to be one filled with warmth and cheer for our youth, thanks to you!

Thank you Centrus for the incredible gifts for our young mothers and babies! The gifts of basic necessities, care products, and educational toys will help our young mothers enormously! In 2007, Centrus’ headquarters office in Bethesda selected HHFY to be our primary charitable giving recipient, and we have been a steady sponsor of the organization ever since. This support has included direct corporate donations, event sponsorships, and donation drives (holiday wish lists, coats, suits, school supplies), as well as organizing events for their children such as a holiday party at the emergency shelter and a career day at our headquarters.

Thank you Reverend Anthony Farmer and everyone from Visions of the Heart Spiritual Life Center in Takoma Park for paying it forward and spreading Christmas cheer! Our boys will be grateful for the socks, sweatpants, clothes, gift cards, metro cards, winter coats and much more that you have gifted to them this holiday season!

Silver Spring United Methodist Church hosts the Angel Tree project every year and for many years, they have chosen us as a recipient of their generosity. Thank you Rebecca McGinnis for bringing the gifts to our office today and thank you for being so good to our kids for so many years!

Thank you Lynn Walker from Packaged for Success! Every year, Packaged for Success, a great organization started by Nicki and JaMai Sanders, give Hearts & Homes for Youth purses filled with personal care items from their Pack a Purse Drive! Thank you for this special treat that our girls will love!

We like to give a big thank you to Ms. Chante Bennet who held a toy and gift card drive for our Damamli Mother-Baby Program last Saturday! We received toys, baby items, and a donation of $180 to purchase Christmas gifts for our young mothers and their children. Thank you for thinking of our young mothers and babies Ms. Chante Bennett!

Thank you Peter Rosenfelder from Edleman Finacial Services LLC, Joanne Van Blake, Carey Miller, Mandy Miller, Sue Baker, Sherri Vucci, Dawn Peterson, Northrup Grumman, Barbara Jordan, Jones Lang LaSalle, Nicole and Brent Harkin, Embrace Home Loans, Tonya Harris and Council of the Great City Schools, Laura Rosenberg and Congregation B’Nai Tzedek, Social & Scientific Systems, Inc., Joanne Hill and your congregation from SDA Church in Takoma Park, Jeannette and Hala Hasan, Girl Scout Troop 1168 and many more!

All of us at Hearts & Homes for Youth are grateful for the outpouring of support and donations we have received for the Holiday Spirit Gift Drive! Happy holidays to you and your loved ones!

Thank you Sharyn Miller and Sheridan School!

IMG_0836We are grateful to Ms. Sharyn Miller from Sheridan School in Washington, DC for donating countless boxes of candies for all the youth in our care!
Every year, Ms. Miller gets students from all grades to donate some of their Halloween candy. Then, her second grade class separates the candies into white lunch bags that they decorate with wonderful drawings! The second graders also write encouraging notes for our kids. It is an incredible, selfless gift that we are grateful for every year, and we always see the decorated bags and notes brighten the day for our kids!
Thank you Ms. Miller and to your second grade class!

A Special Request for Our Holiday Gift Drive!

3DPEHG8EOIAll of us at Hearts & Homes for Youth are grateful for the outpouring of support and donations we have received for the Holiday Spirit Gift Drive! We have received an abundance of baby clothes and toys, and many of our teens wish lists have been answered. It is incredible and heartwarming to see so many people giving to make the holidays a little brighter and a little warmer for all of the youth in our care!

There is still a need for some specific items to bring cheer into our programs! We are asking specifically for sweatpants, sweatshirts, t-shirts, socks and underwear. We needed sizes from small to extra large. Many of the youth who come into our care, especially our teenage boys, come with nothing and have no support system beyond our program. We need your help to give our teens comfort and the confidence that someone believes in them! 

If you would like to arrange a pick up or drop off, please contact Hazel Eguia at

We greatly appreciate your support and consideration! It is a simple gift that would make a huge difference!