The Critical Role of Nonprofits in Helping Urban Youth in the United States

Urban Youth in Inner City Neighborhoods and their Problems

The urban youth in many cities in the United States is vulnerable to several social downsides like proclivity to crime, substance abuse, low or no employment, and a general sense of helplessness and lawlessness that makes them depressed and prone to antisocial behavior. This is the reason why the urban youth in many cities especially the inner city neighborhoods need support and assistance. The ongoing economic crisis has only made conditions worse for the urban youth as their already low employment levels have been exacerbated leading to many of them being on food stamps and governmental dole. Therefore, nonprofits have a critical and crucial role to play in assisting the urban youth in inner city neighborhoods in the United States. The specific ways in which the nonprofits can help them is by offering assistance both in monetary and logistical terms, providing them with training on vocational skills, weaning them off substance abuse by arranging de-addiction camps, counseling them against taking to crime, and by generally monitoring them for good behavior thereby reducing the prevalence of antisocial tendencies among them.

Consequences of the Problems faced by Urban Youth

The key aspects of the activities of the nonprofits are that they step in the vacuum created by lack of governmental schemes and absence of governmental support for social welfare. Further, they also work in conjunction with the governmental agencies to assist them in their endeavor to actualize social welfare. The fact that the vicious cycle of poverty, low education, lack of skills, and lack of family support for the youth in urban communities in the United States leads to substance abuse and crime means that there is ample scope for nonprofits to step in and step up the scale of assistance. Apart from this, many youth in urban communities are often arrested and thrown into jail because of their proclivity to crime. Once this happens, the chances of them being able to lead productive and meaningful lives are lost forever. This is the reason why nonprofits must actively work with the urban youth so that they lead lives that have a semblance of order and resemble normal working adult lives. The situation in inner city neighborhoods like Brooklyn and Harlem in New York, and in Chicago is especially dire as the youth in these neighborhoods are statistically more vulnerable to crime and substance abuse.

How Nonprofits can help

The ways and means in which nonprofits can help the urban youth in inner city neighborhoods is by handholding them through the entire lifecycle of education and finding jobs for themselves. For instance, the problem starts when these youth drop out of school and take to substance abuse or crime. This means that nonprofits can help them by encouraging them not to abandon their studies and by providing scholarships and other assistance; they can ensure that the dropout rate is contained. After this, the next aspect is to help the youth find meaningful employment by providing them with soft loans and monetary help to setup businesses and small establishments that can serve as a source of steady and stable employment as well as income. The key aspect here is that the nonprofits must monitor these aspects so that continuity and responsibility along with commitment are actualized. By doing these things, the nonprofits can help the cause of social welfare and actualize social justice. The key point to be noted here is that the process of building healthier and wealthier communities can be set in motion by a little bit of assistance from nonprofits to these vulnerable segments that would go a long way in helping them lead stable and productive lives.

Concluding Thoughts

Finally, nonprofits have a critical role to play in ensuring that the problems of teenage pregnancies, youth incarceration, and substance abuse are contained if not eliminated. The statistics of these incidences among urban youth in the United States are truly alarming and therefore, the situation is dire which needs to be remedied urgently and on a war footing.


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