engaged abbey - BLUE CANOE (Jan. 2000 - present) is a longstanding service of Dr. Ruebsamen and colleagues which provides rapid, accessible, low-fee/no-fee psychological services to qualifying vulnerable children and youth suffering from complicated illness, sometimes from medical-surgical procedures, such as pediatric cancers, pediatric HIV/AIDS, organ transplant; surviving child victims of parental abandonment, exposure to sibling or parent suicide/homicide, untreated victims of crime, parental addiction, maltreatment, and those who are on the street for various reasons, have no stable or accepting family, may be associated with unaccompanied, domestic or or global migration, US commercial or sex trafficking, violent forced displacement from oppressive cults/foreign regimes, exposed to torture/genocide in their countries of origin. These children and youth are exhausted, confused, overwhelmed, seeking refuge and safety. They generally have no friends or contacts, no finances, no transportation, they are hungry, cold, cannot pay established fees.
Sampling of Recent Statistics:
2015 San Jose 32 unaccompanied children homeless under 18, 503 transition homeless age youth over 18
*2014, across Monterey county there were 5865 -- nearly 6,000 "homeless" children attending local schools in grades K-12
includes families that are homeless -- typically living on the streets in a car or truck or in a tent or makeshift shelter hidden from pubic eye. More and more now (2016) in Salinas, highways are lined with small tents and encampments, and broken down trucks, where hundreds of children live so they can go to school, tended by distant relatives of family friends, even strangers.
The definition of "homelessness" extends to any family without a permanent roof over their heads.
Many homeless kids are living with aunties, uncles or grandparents due to parents' abandonment or incarceration, thus they are, by definition, homeless.
Homelessness can disrupt education and learning, cause a lack of study space, spur truancy, cause health and behavioral problems, lead to poor nutrition and hygiene. by Roberto Robledo, 9.18.2014. (homeless ranks in Salinas are increasing.)
2015 Monterey County 50 unaccomp. children homeless under 18 **220 transition age homeless youth between 18-24
2015 SClara County, 59 unaccomp children homeless under 18 **824 transition age youth between 18 - 24; 40 are parents
blue canoe is made available for indigent and homeless youth who are at poly risk, unsupported, losing educational opportunities, vulnerable to crime, disease, exploitation to commercial, drug, and sexual trafficking, and who can benefit from psychiatric support and potential referral to longer term counseling, emergency shelter, medical care, counseling, pre-vocational residential agencies such as provided by Covenant House and, at times, rennection with family members.
We have successfully used Blue Canoe for very young child and youth victims of gender-based harassment and violence in their homes, schools, on the street, in workplaces for the few able to hold jobs, and in other critical environments.
blue canoe has become CODE for "let us assist you in navigating these waters" -- it is our accessible style of making crucial support possible for youth otherwise unserved -- young people who may have histories of maltreatment, are usually confused to the point of overwhelm, have compelling medical needs, have critical psychiatric need but are highly ambivalent about the nature, purpose, and trustworthiness of psychological support. They are extremely vulnerable to misinformation, victimization, and exploitation on the streets, have no access to immediate professional assistance, little knowledge of what is available and who to trust, and no access to no-fee, medical or psychiatric assistance.
We are committed to helping them locate and receive initial, expert, assessment, impartial listening and care, psychoeducation regarding available professional health and mental health services, direction and assistance with planning, thoughtfully individualized and feasible, affordable referrals for further services and aftercare.