Young men at the critical ages of 14-25 in the East Colfax neighborhoods of Denver and Aurora are faced with overwhelming obstacles to safety, independence, and community connection. Barriers include PTSD, lack of support at home and school, language, poverty, crime, a generally hostile environment, and in many cases, a lack of positive male role models. According to the Prince’s Trust Youth Index, young men without a same-sex role model are 67 per cent more likely to be jobless, 50 per cent more likely to use drugs, and 42 per cent more likely to feel suicidal. The young men in our community are ripe for recruitment into gangs, prostitution, drug abuse and trafficking, and even terrorism. Street Fraternity offers a different path, recruiting them into a thriving brotherhood that gives them the security, courage and support to achieve safe, independent, and connected lives.
We have five organizational goals:
- Attract consistent voluntary participation from urban young men.
- Gain an understanding of our participants and their backgrounds.
- Help participants identify their opportunities, challenges, and goals.
- Build our brotherhood and leadership.
- Develop positive young men who understand how to balance aggression with respect, integrity, and ethics.