KCBS In Depth: Helping Troubled Youth

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – After more than four decades of helping at-risk kids and young adults in San Francisco and Marin counties, Huckleberry Youth Programs has developed plans and strategies on getting those they help back on the right track.

Bruce Fisher, Executive Director of Huckleberry Youth Programs, said as an organization, they work to provide services to homeless, runaway and other at-risk youth in San Francisco and Marin counties. He said part of the process is making sure they have a stable adult to guide them.

KCBS Interviews Bruce Fisher with Huckleberry Youth Programs:

“The key to working with young people is for them to have a caring adult in their life,” said Fisher. “If there is a caring adult in their life that is a constant source of accountability and support, it’s going to make a world of difference.”

Fisher said that they also rely on those who were once in the youth’s shoes.

“Young people don’t listen too much to adults trying to tell them what to do,” he said. “So if you have contemporaries who they met with and who said that I was in your position, I came here as a patient and let me tell you, this is a place where you can get help and feel free to come talk to me. We found that very successful.”

But Fisher said that approach can be daunting for some parents, who are already feeling like they have lost control.

“I think the parents might find it threatening and they would suggest, why won’t you listen to me instead of your friend down the street,” Fisher said. “But the reality is they’re going to listen to that friend.”

Fisher said it’s better that that person is a peer counselor at Huckleberry Youth Programs, which offers shelter, family counseling, education, health care and even a path to college.

You can hear KCBS In Depth, a weekly half-hour news interview, Saturdays at 5:30a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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