Project Reach

Award Recipients - 2000

Don Kao, Co-Founder & Director

Project Reach is a drop-in community center located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side that works with young people and provides crisis intervention counseling and advocacy services on an “open door” basis, focusing on situations when youth have limited control over their life circumstances.  At Project Reach, youth are participants, but they are also the interns, staff members and organizers and work collaboratively with adult staff to identify problems, provide direct and comprehensive services, design and implement training experiences, and organize collective responses to problems affecting the youth community.  
Project Reach is a comprehensive youth organizing program that provides counseling on a individual, group and family basis.  The organization conducts related advocacy works with schools, courts, detention centers/correctional institutions, health centers, city and state agencies as well as workshops with youth in schools, hospitals, community organizations and government agencies.  About 200 young people ages 12 to 23 years old receive services and participate in training on a yearly basis.  Most come from single parent immigrant families who are on public assistance or in low paying jobs.  About 25 percent of the participants have lost a parent to AIDS and 45 percent are affected directly with the court system, are incest survivors, victims of rape or have experienced homelessness.

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