Looking around, one can’t deny the fact that we live in a broken world. Fortunately, there are individuals and organizations that have heart for the matters that are the root of struggle in many people’s lives. One such organization is CitySquare. By implementing several programs, it ultimately seeks to diminish poverty by improving health, assisting with housing, providing hope, and decreasing hunger. It approaches these tasks by way of service, advocacy, and friendship.
One program that CitySquare has developed over the years is the Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC). In the early 2000s, 25 partner agencies met to discuss the fact that youth aging out of the foster system were falling through the cracks while entering the world of independence with little to no help. Out of this discussion, TRAC was born in 2003. Today, there are two locations in North Texas, one in Dallas and one in Fort Worth. This program aids young adults who have aged out of the state foster care system. It supplies youth, caregivers, and CPS with all sorts of information and activity to assist young adults as the they make the plunge into self-sufficiency.
“When so many people and places are changing in a youth’s life, the TRAC location and staff are relatively familiar,” The director of TRAC, Madeline Reedy said.
CitySquare firmly maintains it does not have clients but rather neighbors with whom they work to stamp out poverty. At TRAC, the young adult neighbors can access both community resources and intensive case management that help build a safety net for their transition into adulthood.
Out of the youth who turn to TRAC for help, 45 percent have experienced homelessness, 40 percent are lacking their diploma or GED, 70 percent are without a job, and 52 percent have no income whatsoever. Eighty-eight percent of the 766 young adults who TRAC served in 2015 were set up to be hired for a living wage job through employment, education, or workforce development.
“CitySquare TRAC services include life skills training, comprehensive case management, housing and rental assistance, and employment services.” Reedy said. One such service is OnTRAC housing, which provides access to temporary rental assistance, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing.
There are a variety of ways in which people of the community can help out at CitySquare. You can become a Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) class volunteer or a Youth Employment Services volunteer. You can fill out a volunteer application here. In addition, there are several special funds to which you can donate, such as My Own Bed, which helps provide a bed and bedding for a young adult starting out on his or her own. The Jerry Sullivan Memorial Fund, which is named for the former director of TRAC, provides youth with items such as bus passes, housing assistance, and ID funds.
TRAC is preparing to host its annual angel tree event. This is an opportunity for the North Texas community to spread some Christmas cheer by getting a gift for a child of one of the TRAC young adults. Furthermore, TRAC throws a holiday party for the youth each year and appreciates donations of gift cards for raffle items so each person can take home a small gift. To help out during the holidays, contact [email protected].