These Two Youth Advocates Bring a Voice To Their Community

Guest bloggers Aishvari and Jazmin, participants in The Practice Space’s Expressive Leaders program, document their journey to learn about homelessness in the Bay Area and urge you to contribute! They explain the need in the community to support the voices of homeless people and to stand up against people who are unsupportive or unempathetic. While this post focuses on a specific region, Aishvari and Jazmin’s message will ring true no matter where you live.

I am Aishvari (I-sh-vari), I am in 3rd grade, I live in Fremont, CA, I have a family of 4 and I am the youngest, I am interested in ballet, and musical instruments. Something that makes me an Expressive Leader is that I would like to help other people with problems in the world. I want to help the homeless because I want them to feel like real people. I am trying to spread the awareness that homeless people need help, and I am also trying to donate more clothes, canned food, and accessories to churches and donation centers.

Hello! My name is Jazmin and I am in 6th grade. I live in San Pablo and I have a family of five, me being the second-oldest of 3 children. Some of my interests are cooking, music, and gardening. What makes me an Expressive Leader is sharing my thoughts, ideas, and using my voice to help other people. The issue I care to address would be the homeless people because they need someone to speak for them and their needs.

Our project is about helping homeless people have a voice in their community to speak for their needs like food and supplies. We choose this project because there are a lot of people without homes and some people don’t do anything to help.

This issue is important because it has been here forever and if we help the issue will become less and we will have a better community. Something not a lot of people know about this issue is that many people are dying because of Covid and a lot more are dying because they have no homes, no food, and no medicine. This issue is important because it would be fair to give them a chance to experience our lives. After all, they are humans too. 

Our inspiration for this project is how people don’t help the homeless and instead of helping them, they mistreat them. Jazmin noticed that “when I was in school, I passed through a street in an area where there was a group of homeless people. They had their tents as a home, the next day they were gone (video here).”

Aishvari explains, “to start this project I first talked to my mentor about my project and how to organize the steps to reach the goal. Next, I will be researching sources about where and when to donate. One challenge I have had is making a food drive and making a blog post.”

Jazim adds, “the first thing I did was to talk to my mom about the issue I wanted to help with, then I joined the Expressive Leaders and discussed it with my partner and mentor about the project.”

We are planning to help the homeless people by donating clothes and hygiene supplies (supplies include: food) and trying to volunteer to help with food drives. As part of our project, we are trying to get more websites for donations information and a location for our blog. We are also trying to get people to read our blog on the Practice Space channel. Gathering information about homeless shelters to post them on the blog.

Aishvari notes that “one surprising thing I have learned is helping homeless people is fun, not boring.”

Jazmin continues, “something that I have learned was working together as a group can make a difference faster than working alone. ‘Teamwork makes the dream work.’”

Finally, Aishvari hopes that “as a result of this project […] people can help homeless people too because most people only think about themselves and not others around them. What you can do to support my project is to volunteer to help to make food, and donate clothing and supplies for homeless shelters.”

Jazmin agrees, “I hope people will help and volunteer in homeless shelters. Also if they can spread the word that they need support with donations. What people can do is be a volunteer in some of these programs and provide help to those in need.”

For more information go to Homeless Programs – Bay Area Community Health, call some of the shelters, or visit the Homeless Shelter Directory.

To volunteer, visit and register at Bay Area Rescue Mission.

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