Crystal Kids is centered in the heart of the inner-city and located at 8718 – 118 Avenue. We are a community based provider of intervention and prevention services with outcomes-based service delivery. Our formula for mentoring youth combines strength-based principles with a harm-reduction model and a focus on relationships and capacity building. We cultivate resiliency and bolster the competencies of our children so they can defeat and conquer exclusion and suffering. These fundamental principles are manifested in the context of our mentoring and modeling, and are a key component to programming, communication and discipline practices.
Our clients reside in the Eastwood, Delton, Parkdale, Sprucewood, McCauley, Alberta Avenue, Newton, Montrose, Highlands, Beverly, and Abbotsfield communities of Edmonton. Youth also come from as far away as Ft. Road, Londonderry, Clairview, and Castledowns neighborhoods. This year at Crystal Kids we will serve three hundred plus children and an average of about sixty children per day in the centre. There are days however that we can see upwards of 120 children. Our clients are some of the most disadvantaged children in Edmonton. City statistics show that the inner city communities we serve have some of Edmonton's lowest family incomes (some earning as little as $9,000.00 per year total family income), highest proportion of rental dwellings (most of which are occupied by single parent families) and the highest incidences of reported crimes and family violence in the entire city. Sadly this is the very definition of poverty.
December 2015 marked 23 years of Crystal Kids vital work - nurturing and supporting at-risk and vulnerable children and youth. We divert our kids from criminal activity and addictions. We protect our kids from hunger, abuse, and neglect. Intentional one-on-one mentoring occurs at all levels of programming at Crystal Kids. We impact our young people in a way that strengthens their resiliency and empowers them to choose education and a productive future over street life, misery, and reliance on social supports. Succinctly we feed, nurture and supervise neglected inner-city children.
As alarming as these community statistics are, the statistics for our kids are just as grim. Staff observe 90% of our youth suffer from neglect at home. An alarming 70% of our youth have been exposed to family violence either as the witness to, as the victim of, or as the perpetrator. For all of our children and their families or caregivers, the security of basic human needs - food, clothing, and shelter is a daily risk.
In order to mitigate these risks, Crystal Kids provides nutritional support, intentional and purposeful mentoring, literacy and educational supports, life skills coaching as well as athletic and artistic and cultural programming. We are keenly aware that our diversionary work has kept families together and functioning, supported children through times when their families were unable, and supervised children when their parents were not capable of parenting in a healthy manner. We divert children from choosing gangs, the sex trade or other high-risk lifestyles. As a result of our activities, many children remain in families which could not function without the aid and support of Crystal Kids.
We provide invaluable resources and support to help maintain dignity and balance in the lives of our youth clients. We also reach out to those who suffer from isolation, including seniors and recent immigrant families, providing them with healthy communication and positive social interaction. Overall, we're a safe, supporting and friendly environment for anyone who needs us.
Our programs are FREE. Our children, seniors and families will never pay for our programs, but we need your help to continue our work! Please consider helping us with a one-time, or recurring monthly or annual financial gift. We are in need of Champions! Will you be a Champion for Crystal Kids?