We get so many similar questions that we thought we would post information here to make it easier for you to quickly find answers to your questions. If you still have questions, please send an email to info@youthlift.org, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is defined as “homeless”?

We follow the McKinney-Vento act which applies the educational rights of homeless youth. This states that a homeless child is anyone who lacks a fixed, regular or adequate nighttime residence. This includes children who live in a motel, shelter, car, on the streets, doubled up with a friend or family member for a temporary time, abandoned buildings or tent cities.


  • Where are the kids’ parents?

Most of the time, the children live with at least one parent. We primarily work with children who live in motels and shelters with their families. A child who does not live with a parent or guardian is called an “unaccompanied minor” and we will provide assistance for these kids; however, we do not currently have any unaccompanied minors in the program.


  • What services do we provide to homeless children?

We match volunteers with each child in our program for a one-on-one relationship where they help with studying, school needs, self-esteem and other areas of concern. We also provide school supplies, school enrollment help, transportation coordination assistance to and from school, workshops for teens, educational trips for teens centered around career interests, health and nutrition information, and help with required school fees.


  • What services do we NOT provide?

We do not help with food, shelter, toys or clothing. We will and do provide information of other organizations and resources that do assist with these needs. If a child does require a school uniform to attend school, we will assist with that as best we can. From time to time, we do have children’s clothes and shoes donated and we do pass those along to the children who need clothes and shoes for school.  We are focused on educational needs and there are many organizations that help with toys and gifts, but this is not a part of our mission unless they are educational in nature.


  • How do I volunteer?

You can join our mailing list to be updated on the upcoming Orientations for volunteers.

Or you can email info@youthlift.org to find out the next Orientation date in your area or for any other questions.


  • In what areas do we have children?

We currently have several children waiting to be matched in St Petersburg close to the downtown area. We are conducting outreach to enroll children in the Tampa area. We do not have children in Brandon, Clearwater, Bradenton/Sarasota, or other areas outside of Tampa and St Petersburg. We do plan on expanding in the future, but not at this time.


  • Do you have group volunteer activities?

We do not currently have any opportunities for groups of volunteers.


  • Can my child volunteer? or  Can I volunteer if I am under 18?

We are happy to have younger volunteers help with Youth LIFT. A volunteer does need to be 20 years old to tutor, so anyone under the age of 20 cannot tutor the children. We do not have any opportunities for tutoring if you are under the age of 20. Though we do sometimes have things come up that we can use younger volunteers for, most of the options that we talk to volunteers under the age of 18 about doing are to collect donations of school supplies or conduct fundraising events with their organizations, churches, or schools.