Many community centers and recreational programs are being cut or closed down entirely in Duluth, MN. This has increased the immediate demand and need for programming for young people. Without the programs of HOL-YFC more youth would be without safe, fun, wholesome alternatives to participate in while remaining in safe, controlled environments. Because the youth feel safe in our programs, they can share openly about their hurts, fears, faith and dreams. We have created a culture that is fun, but not dangerous. When young people are bored they naturally find “something to do” - something that is usually negative, risky or unsafe. Our programing is proactive in keeping young people safe and in encouraging good decision making. We also witness several instances per month of young people (ages 10-21) who come through our youth center, the Encounter, with nowhere to go due to the lack of parental involvement. Whether there is no parent or a parent that just doesn't want to be a part of their child's life anymore, breaks our heart. And, we find that not only in this program but all of our programs this lack of parental involvement often leads these young people into high-risk behaviors such as acting out, doing drugs, drinking, engaging in sexual activity, or dressing provocatively to gain attention. Their craving for attention, whether good or bad, is because they are not receiving it from their parents at home. In a very real sense, we have become a family to those young people who would otherwise have no family.