Hope For Youth: Saving Children Since 1969

Hope for Youth
Hope For Youth volunteers prepare gifts for homeless kids back in 2020.

For Giving Tuesday, Hope For Youth is a charity you may want to consider donating to.

In 1969, Nassau County Judge Elizabeth Bass Golding felt that there weren’t enough services on Long Island helping children in need — those struggling mentally, physically, financially, and more. This led to the founding of Hope For Youth, a nonprofit organization based out of Amityville.

Initially established as a group home agency catering to male and female youths aged 13 to 17, Hope For Youth has grown significantly through the years into a large network of services for troubled children and families.

“We run the gamut of anywhere from primary prevention programs, like anti-drug and anti-bullying workshops in schools, to residential programs for youths facing challenges at home or in school,” Irma Edington, a licensed master social worker (LMSW) as well as executive director of Hope for Youth, told the Press. “We provide a continuum of care here at Hope For Youth, and we service all of Long Island.”

Hope For Youth has locations all over the island. Their administrative offices are based in Amityville. They have a transitional living program location in Farmingdale, a runaway youth shelter in Babylon, a group home for boys in Seaford, a facility in Bay Shore that works through the Suffolk ACT Program, and offices in Bellmore, Hempstead, and Riverhead. The Amityville headquarters handles all foster care operations, and also serves as their outpatient alcohol and substance abuse clinic, their diagnostic and emergency group home, 

According to Edington, the demand for services for troubled youth is spread evenly throughout Long Island, which makes their spread of locations strategic.

“You have pockets of certain areas where there’s more problems or children get themselves into trouble where the gangs are more prevalent,” Edington said. “But really, mental illness is everywhere. You’d think that in East Hampton, for example, we wouldn’t see much activity, but it’s everywhere — it’s across the board.”

Edington emphasized the familial nature of the issues they address.

“As most practitioners in this field would say, it’s a family issue,” she said. “Many of these youths present with behavioral, mental health, and substance abuse issues. Sometimes, their mental illnesses are misdiagnosed, and it’s crucial to delve deeper into their circumstances. When you start working with these children and you meet the families, you see that many come as a product of their environment.”

Hope For Youth accepts donations year round, but with the holiday season in full swing, one can help the organization bring the holidays to families in need. Their website is hfyny.org. 

For more stories about charity organizations on Long Island, click here.