Safe Children Coalition’s Youth Shelter Campaign Boosted



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As Safe Children Coalition continues its campaign to fund and build a new Youth Shelter for homeless teens in Florida’s Circuit 12 (Sarasota, DeSoto and Manatee counties), its efforts have been boosted by a leadership gift of $1.5 million from the Roberta Leventhal Sudakoff Foundation. The gift includes a $500,000 challenge match to inspire greater giving from the community.

The Youth Shelter is the only facility designated for homeless teens in Sarasota and DeSoto counties; it serves youths from Manatee County as well. Many of the teens served enter the shelter because of a mental health crisis and/or a parent’s inability to cope with a youth’s behavioral issues. In recent years, the SCC Youth Shelter has been first or second in facility utilization out of the 16 shelters in the Florida network, exceeding contracted bed days.

Currently, the shelter is at a smaller, temporary location until the new facility can be built, which has limited the number of teens that can be helped. There are more than 2,000 teens who are homeless in the 12th Judicial Circuit at any given time.

The new Youth Shelter will be located on Sawyer Road in north Sarasota, sitting on two acres of land. The nearly 9,000-square-foot building will provide safe temporary emergency housing for youths ages 10-17, providing nearly 3,000 safe shelter bed-nights a year and serving up to 200 youths annually for many years to come.

The Youth Shelter campaign has raised nearly 75% of what SCC leaders expect the facility to cost; additional community support will be crucial to getting the effort over the goal line. It is hoped that the Sudakoff Foundation’s $500,000 challenge match will inspire giving and assist Safe Children Coalition in raising the funds it needs for the project.

For more about Safe Children Coalition, or to inquire about how you can support the Youth Shelter campaign, contact Jacqueline House at or call 941-371-4799, ext. 1127, or visit