Streetwork's Harlem Center: Computer Room

Computer Room

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Many of the young people coming to Streetwork’s drop-in center have little access to information many of us may take for granted, such as use of the internet. Having access to the computer room in Streetwork’s main lounge keeps these young people connected to those they can trust, inside and outside of Streetwork.

As Amir Thornell, the Independent Living Skills Coordinator at Safe Horizon, explains, "The computer room provides a social activity where the clients can be active in an internet age. It opens the door up for networking -- for jobs, for housing, for education and more - whenever our clients are ready."

Streetwork offers young people the life skills training and resources needed to secure and retain a job, which is often vital to building a stable life for themselves. Amir describes this connection: "You can’t take care of body and mind if you can’t keep a job."

Next to the computer room hangs a bulletin board where staff and clients themselves post new opportunities for the youth. As Amir explains, "On this board, we list resources available in the community, everything from where to get a haircut, to free voicemail, to GED Programs."

Encouraging youth to make connections between their daily lives, their interests and their futures is what Amir strives to do. Social networking tools such as blogs and web forums can be the jumping-off point for a new career. "There are people on MySpace who make money and use it as a tool to further their career and their creativity," Amir says, "We use that as a tool to open up the discussion with young people -- ‘What’s next? What else are you going to do with that? This is a start, but what’s the next step?’"

Finding out what motivates and drives these young people is the key to helping them start a successful life for themselves -- a life they can be proud of.

Next stop: TWISTED Peer Education Room.

Need help? Call Streetwork at 1.800.708.6600.

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Safe Horizon's mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families and communities.
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