Letter: RSYP responding to crisis

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To the editor:

During this time of crisis and uncertainty, I would like to congratulate the Railroad Street Youth Project and its tireless staff and youth leaders for responding to the challenges of the coronavirus epidemic with creativity and resourcefulness. RSYP is still open for business and committed to serving the needs of teens and young adults in South County!

The organization is now operating virtually, moving activities that had been held at the drop-in center in Great Barrington online through Facebook meetups, Google Hangouts and Zoom. Essential services like one-on-one mentoring, LGBTQ+ support, the youth operational board and other key activities are ongoing. And the staff is continuing to identify and fulfill new needs among young people in South County such as food insecurity due to school closures and/or health and safety issues as people are sheltering in place.

The young people themselves deserve particular credit. In an unprecedented situation that can often feel scary and perilous, even to those of us old enough to remember other public health and national emergencies like the AIDS epidemic and 9/11, they are staying calm and solution-oriented, and continue to inspire all of us who have the pleasure and privilege of working with them.

If you are a young person and need emotional or practical support while you're stuck at home, or just want to connect with other youth aged 14-25 who are doing fun stuff, RSYP is here for you! Message us on social media, visit the website at rsyp.org or email info@rsyp.org.

Ann Herbst,

Tyringham

Ann Herbst is a board member of Railroad Street Youth Project

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