Project 16:49 is run by HEAT, the Homeless Education Action Team, which is a subcommittee of the Rock County Homeless Intervention Task Force. We are a group of service providers and concerned citizens who have been planning to provide a safe and stable place for homeless Rock County teens since February 2008. Ann Forbeck (Homeless Liaison for the School District of Janesville) and Robin Stuht (Homeless Coordinator for the School District of Beloit) serve as co-chairs of Project 16:49. Mark Perry of Community Action and Emily Tofte of Lutheran Social Services serve as vice-chairs. Our treasurers are Jessica Schafer of ECHO and Mark Fuller of UW Rock County and our secretary is Janine Peterson of United Way of North Rock County.
What is Project 16:49’s vision for helping them?
Project 16:49 is working to provide a continuum of services for teens who are homeless and not living with their parents or guardians. We are working with Lutheran Social Services’ Runaway and Youth Services (RAYS) program to recruit families to serve as Safe Homes. These licensed foster homes will provide emergency shelter for teens. During each teen’s two to three week stay, an LSS social worker will assist the teen in either returning home or in finding a safe and stable alternative living situation. For those teens who cannot safely return home, HEAT plans to open a transitional living program that will provide housing and case management services for up to 18 months. The transitional living program can serve individuals aged 16 to 21 years, allowing them to finish high school and learn adult responsibilities in a supportive environment with caring adults.
Our Mission, Vision, and Values
“The sixteen hours and forty-nine minutes between school ending one day, and starting the next, for some kids, are the longest hours.”