The Street Outreach team in each of the countries provides a vital service by showing children and teenagers that there is a way to leave the streets and commence a new life.
In each country, the Street Outreach team identifies various 'hotspots' or high-risk zones, where children and teenagers can be found living on the streets and facing extraordinary risks. These 'hotspots' include markets, bus terminals, garbage dumps, makeshift houses, highways, and some of the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods in the country.
In these zones, the team comes across children and teens who have been abused, neglected and abandoned. They are often dirty suffering poor hygiene, since they often do not have any access to running water to be able to clean themselves. Many of these kids are severely addicted to harmful substances and inhalants, and spend large proportions of their day huddled over a small jar of glue to distract themselves from the pain and hunger of life on the streets. They are usually victims of some form of violence or other types of abuse, often from within their own family, and are in desperate need of care and support. A number of the children in these situations are also suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Our Street Outreach team works to build a relationship with the children and teens, based in the values of trust, understanding and respect. We counsel kids about how they can begin the transition from life on the streets to life at Casa Alianza and we develop a Life Plan with the kids, where each child begins to set realistic and obtainable goals that they can work to achieve with the support of Casa Alianza staff.
Read a moving, first-person account of Sen Vitale’s trip to Covenant House in Guatemala, Honduras