Dr. Daniel Handysides, assistant professor in the Loma Linda University School of Public Health works with homeless youth to help provide them with health-related resources and connections. Dr. Handysides works closely with Youth Hope, an organization located in Redlands, CA that provides food, clothing, temporary shelter, and a continuing education program to homeless teens in San Bernardino County.
“I am a mediator,” says Dr. Handysides. “The kids can trust me, and I am a point source for health-related issues they may have.” Weekly sessions cover anything from getting clean from drugs, counseling for sexual abuse, addiction education, and making sure they can find the right resources for any problems they are experiencing.
Dr. Handysides works with the organization to provide public health knowledge and expertise to the homeless teens. As part of this, he provides free condoms for the at-risk youth.
“Health education is more than lectures. At Loma Linda University we teach that practice is vital to reducing the burden of disease,” says Dr. Handysides. “Free condoms enable my kids to have one less risk to stress over.”
Last year, more than 900 individuals sought help through Youth Hope. This year, they have had more than 1,200 at-risk teens come through their doors.