The NEST *Nurturing *Empowering *Supporting for *Tomorrow

 The NEST Program

*Nurturing *Empowering *Supporting for *Tomorrow

The Georgetown Project opened The NEST in 2011 as an outreach to Georgetown ISD teens in 9th-12thgrade that were homeless or living in transition. Fifty local high school students were served in the first year with basic needs and many other supports that helped them stay in school, graduate, and move toward a positive future. While this after school drop-in center was successful, the dream had always been to offer overnight shelter for youth in Georgetown.  In October of 2013, The Georgetown Project expanded The NEST services by opening the first overnight shelter for youth living in transition.  The NEST Program now includes The NEST Host Home, an overnight safe haven for youth living in transition, and The NEST Empowerment Center, an after school safe haven for all Georgetown ISD high school teens who are in need of free resources.

The NEST Host Homeoffers overnight care for Georgetown youth ages 0-17 for up to 66 days at a time. The Georgetown Project collaborates with STARRY in this unique host home project. STARRY, part of the Children at Heart Family of Ministries, operates the SAFE Runaway and Homeless Program in Round Rock, in addition to established Foster Care and Counseling programs. STARRY has experience in sheltering youth, in licensing foster and host home families, and is a licensed child placement agency.  Children and youth placed in the home will experience the comprehensive support services offered by both organizations and from host parents who reside in the home.

The NEST Empowerment Center offers a safe haven after school for Georgetown ISD high school teens who are in need of FREE resources such as evening meals, a quiet place for homework and rest, access to computers, school supplies, daily homework help, test prep, counseling, job readiness training, college prep and other support services in a positive environment with caring adults. The NEST Empowerment Center is located in the old Richarte High School (2201 Old Airport Road). STARRY has an office in the building in order to offer counseling and case management. Hours are, M-Th, 2-7pm (4-7pm for students), and donations/tours on Fridays 9am – 12pm. The phone number is 512-943-8056.

Meal providers with questions may contact Bebe Johnson, The NEST Empowerment Center Coordinator, at 512- 943-8056 or email: georgetownprojectnest@suddenlink.net

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For many first generation college students, a college degree is truly a ticket to a different life. Lea Cantu, a 21-year-old Dell Scholar at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, will graduate in 2014. Her journey from high school to college has spanned homelessness, depression and hearing loss, and yet she’s persevered. Lea’s grit, determination, and resourcefulness are, perhaps even more than her academic abilities, the qualities that we view as most predictive of students’ ultimate success in completing college and obtaining a degree. more about Lea

Did You Know?

Over 200 students in GISD each year are qualified as homeless under the McKinney Vento Homeless Education Act. Legislation defines the term "homeless" as children and youth who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. This includes students whose families live in doubled-up situations due to economic hardship, as well as older teens who live in a state of transition without the care of a legal guardian.

School districts are mandated to provide certain services during the school day for students qualified as homeless. But what happens after the bell rings?

The NEST Empowerment Center is located in very close proximity to Georgetown High School; however, all 9th-12th grade students, Eagles and Patriots alike, who are in need of free resource, have access to services.

The NEST Goals:

  • Provide a safe, nurturing environment of dignity and respect during out of school time that encourages a positive view of the future.
  • Provide basic needs and linkages with local resources to stabilize daily life.
  • Provide counseling for family reunification if practical and safe.
  • Provide support services needed to complete high school and prepare for a self-sustaining and healthy lifestyle.
  • Provide opportunities for serving others and for building positive connections with caring adults in the community.

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