The Alliance For Youth in Great Falls has had a big hand in helping youth in the area. On Thursday night, the organization thanked their donors for their part in helping change lives.
Cutting the ribbon on their new Great Falls community kitchen was just part of the Alliance For Youth's donor appreciation night.
The kitchen is a major part of the organization, which has actually been around since the mid-1980s.
Three years ago, they moved into the old Victory Church and established the Youth Resource Center for homeless and other vulnerable youth between the ages of 13 to 20.
"It provides all the basics, whether it’s food, housing, mental health counseling,” said Alliance For Youth development director Thomas Risberg. “It’s a one-stop shop, we call it."
Alliance For Youth, which has branched out into nine surrounding counties, also is home to the Sober Life, nearly 700 members strong, providing continuous activities for people in recovery and their families.
The organization also offers parenting programs and substance abuse prevention.
"Every dollar you invest you invest in substance abuse prevention saves nine dollars on the back end,” said Risberg. “We run a committee called the Substance Abuse Prevention Alliance. Right now our key focus is fentanyl."
Over the last year, the Youth Resource Center served more than 200 youth.
They also re-engaged 64 young people in school, supported 40 youth in finding a job, and helped 18 youth obtain their Hi-SET, similar to a GED.
Kylie Fisher is a youth navigator with Alliance for Youth. She appreciates the community's support for the program. Even though the job can be an uphill battle, she says helping youth overcome the odds is satisfying.
"It makes it all worth it worth it because sometimes you’re like ‘are we even making a difference?’” said Fisher. “Even if we make difference in just one person, it makes it all worth it.”
For more information on Alliance For Youth, click here to visit the website.
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