Located in Cincinnati, Found Village aims to rebuild foundational trust in youth who have faced abuse, neglect or related traumas at home or through the system. By connecting young people with an audacious and intentional community of relational resources, they are better able to stabilize and ultimately mobilize into future success.
Southwest Ohio Parent spoke to Shannon Yung, director of community engagement at Found Village, to learn more about this non-profit.
Found Village is a relatively new organization. How did you get started?
We are only six years old, but this has been a labor of love for so long. Over a decade ago, I was a social worker watching hurting foster kids being shuttled from therapist to detention center and back, knowing there had to be a better way but unsure of where to start. I began to ruminate on three questions: What do I need to be healthy? What do I need to flourish? What do I need to thrive?
And then it hit me: These young people come from hard places, but they have the same needs as everybody else. They need nurturing and supportive relationships. These are things that the governmental systems are not set up to provide.
What kind of programs do you offer?
Every young person who walks through our doors is introduced to our Pathway to Independence program, which consists of programs centered around discovery, stability, growth and independence. Our goal is to meet each individual where they are and propel them forward on a path of introspection, self-improvement and autonomy.
How can people support your work?
Get Curious. Visit our website (foundvillage.org), sign up for our newsletter, and follow us on social media.
Be Generous. We have a powerful mission that doesn’t always fit into the right funding buckets. We rely on sustained partnerships to power the work. Monthly donations are a wonderful way to support us year-round.
Start Cooking. We need to feed the young people who attend our weekly programs. Any support, financial or otherwise, would be appreciated.
What are your plans for the future?
We are working to change hearts and minds about youth from hard places. We want others to share our boundless hope for the young people of this city, and we are working to educate the public on the benefits of community and relational-based practices.
Ultimately, we want to partner with other nonprofits to build a community resource and recreation center that supports young people up to age 25. If anyone is interested, just give us a holler.
What are your success stories?
One of the ways we determine our success is by listening to the voices of our young people. Here’s what they had to say:
“Before starting Found Village I was miserable. I’ve grown so much within this community.”
“Back then I was doing wild things and getting into trouble, but the coaches are always talking to me and getting me on the right path. You all have been really good to me.”
“You acknowledge me as a person, not just something written on paper.”