31-Year-Old Nonprofit Enriches Support to Homeless Youth Through Hands-On Job Experience
Tucson, AZ – In October 2015, the Youth On Their Own Resale Home Store opened their doors for the very first time. This unique secondhand shop offers everything from kitchen appliances, to wall décor, to living room furniture, and much more. Unlike a typical thrift shop, the layout of the store is constantly changing and merchandise is always kept in rotation. The items in the store are thoroughly evaluated by high school interns before being put on display. This ensures that everything on the shelves is in pristine condition and ready to be used immediately.
The YOTO Home Store is monumentally different from other thrift shops of its kind. One of the most notable things about the Home Store is its staff. The store is completely run and managed by student interns and volunteers. The interns are all hired from within the YOTO program after they successfully complete a professional job interview. There are five interns at a time, and each internship lasts a duration of three months. This turnover ensures that as many students as possible are able to gain customer service skills during their time at Youth On Their Own.
Home Store Manager and YOTO alumna, Maribel, has been working in the store since last March. She says that she was drawn to this opportunity because it provided her with vital work experience while also assisting her financially. As manager, Maribel is responsible for interviewing and training new interns as well as ensuring quality service to every customer that walks through the door. Maribel says that this position has raised her confidence and provided her with the chance to improve interpersonal capabilities and fine tune professional skills. In regard to her time at the Home Store she says, “This has been a wonderful opportunity that I have been given, and I love coming to work every day.”
Armando is a current Home Store intern who has been part of the Youth On Their Own program for about a year. He was hired this past January and has already begun to form meaningful relationships with regular customers and donors. Armando emphasizes that the Resale Home Store has an undeniable community feel, unlike any other store in town. About the atmosphere of the Home Store Armando says, “It feels like your second home. I’m not coming to work every day… I’m coming home.”
The Youth On Their Own Resale Home Store is open Wednesday- Saturday from 10:00am- 5:00pm and is located at 1642 N. Alvernon Way.
About Youth On Their Own
Youth On Their Own is a dropout prevention program that supports the high school graduation and continued success of homeless, unaccompanied youth in Pima County. More information on the organization’s achievements, success stories, services provided, and key leadership can be found at http://yoto.org.
Youth On Their Own
Kristyn Conner, Director of Development