Teaching young adults to prevent and end homelessness

By Carla P. Kennedy-Mboumba

Special to The Times

Youth Towers, Inc. founder and executive director Alice Westery, with husband Jarvis, Sr. (Provided photo)
Youth Towers, Inc. founder and executive director Alice Westery, with husband Jarvis, Sr. (Provided photo)

On Nov. 12, Youth Towers, Inc. presented An Enchanted Masquerade at the George T. French Jr. Student Activity Center on the campus of Miles College. The event was a fundraiser for the organization, which serves adult clients between the ages of 19-26 with the tools needed to succeed and live a productive life. Youth Tower’s mission and vision are to teach young adults in order to prevent and end homelessness in their lives.

Youth Towers is founded by Alice Westery, who is executive director of the organization.

Since 2011, some of the services have included street outreach, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing, case management, transportation, career counseling, job prep, tutoring, life skill training and more.

Southeastern School of Cosmetology (located in the Five Points West area) partnered with Youth Towers to help some of the young ladies shine their brightest for the organization’s annual gala.

Cosmetology students utilized their skills by servicing the ladies with creative hairstyles, manicures, pedicures, eyelash extension and eyebrow-arching. They were even given makeup to complement the total look.

During the gala, clients gave their “Testimonies from The Streets”.

Nick Nelson-Brown said, “although my mom was a functioning drug addict, I am no ordinary guy, rather I am an extra-ordinary guy and leader.”

Aniqua Mills said she had been living on and off the streets for a year. Youth Towers got her housing, into a welding program at Lawson State Community College and transportation.  Also, she told of her excitement when she found that Southeastern School of Cosmetology would be rendering free beauty services and helps people that are trying to help themselves.

Others talked about “how they learned to be independent”, “You never know what a person is going through”, “It has been nights when I slept on the street in the cold”,  “I went from homelessness to having a home” and “Both my parents are in prison, so I left my town with a bus ticket to Birmingham and the clothes on my back”.

For more information about the services provided or program requirements contact: Youth Towers:  601 19th Street, North Birmingham., AL 35203 Phone: (205) 383-1965 or Southeastern School of Cosmetology:  3112 Ensley 5 Points West Avenue, Birmingham., AL 35208 Phone: (205) 323-1011.