In Lubbock, one out of every 5.1 residents lives in poverty. Los Hermanos Familia (LHF) recognizes the growing poverty rate - in the state of Texas -16 %, and in Lubbock - 19.8%, indicating that Lubbock has a higher-than-average percentage of residents below the poverty line when compared to the rest of Texas.
Also in Lubbock, 20.4% of adolescents between 12 to 17 years old live in poverty. Often, this age group falls through the cracks when it comes to programs that serve area families. Most programs focus on small children.
As such, Los Hermanos Familia with our partners created the Warm Hearts program to champion the community that struggles with poverty, especially adolescents.
When establishing this program, LHF's Family Needs Committee recalled those moments in their own lives and came up with the “7 Point Warm Check” – The head – knit hats; the ears – earmuffs; the neck -a scarf; the hands – gloves; body- a jacket; feet – socks and warm slippers. A few discussed being hungry, and what some went without during the holidays. Each identified as needing one or all and the impression it left on them.
As a result, LHF with its community partners and volunteers holds drives and raises funds to offer hope and a warm heart by answering the call. Whether it’s giving warm gloves, a scarf, or a beanie; new socks, providing slippers or warm blankets; or, sponsoring a turkey – Los Hermanos Familia want to give kinship children, especially teens, warmth, and families hope and comfort.
Along the way, a school counselor shared reached out for assistance to a student needing help to buy a work uniform.
Los Hermanos Familia also prepares care kits for elementary schools in low socio-economic areas that provide underwear, mittens, t-shirts, and socks.
In 2021, Los Hermanos Familia helped gather basic items of need and distributed them to kinship families - family members and friends who have stepped up to provide homes for children whose parents cannot care for them. These "kinship care" arrangements include children who receive care from grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, and close family friends for a given period. These families also received a holiday meal/package to warm their hearts.
In 2022, LHF will be working to prepare backpacks for homeless youth. In one high school alone, there are 37 students considered homeless, more than 50 in LISD schools. And research has found that homelessness among young people is a fluid experience. From couch surfing to sleeping on the streets or in a shelter, most of youth do not become homeless by choice.
Specific subpopulations of youth and young adults face a higher risk for homelessness:
Black youth face an 83% increased risk than their white peers.
Hispanic youth face a 33% increased risk.
LGBTQ youth were more than twice as likely to have experienced homelessness.
Young parents—especially unmarried—had a three times higher risk than non-parenting peers.
Youth with experiences of foster care, juvenile detention, jail, or prison.
Youth who do not complete high school are 3.5 times more likely to experience homelessness than peers who completed a high school diploma.
The need is every day, especially when it comes to adolescents.
Will you help us warm some hearts? Donate scarf/hat/glove sets, slippers, warm socks, blankets, or sweatshirts. Or, consider making a monetary donation.
The need is every day. It's never too late to help. To get involved, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Christy Martinez-Garcia (806)792-1212.