New York – A well known Brooklyn institution that offers guidance, programs and other services to at risk teens and young adults will be holding its third annual run to raise awareness and much needed funding in order to continue its operations.
Our Place, which is often featured on VIN News, founded in 1998, will be hosting a 5K Run/Walkathon at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field on Sunday, October 27th, which will include separate races for men, women and children. This year’s event will allow runners to compete both individually and in teams, with schools, organizations and businesses including Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, Rambam Mesivta, the New York chapter of National Council of Synagogue Youth and B&H Photo all putting up teams for the race.
Video interview taken on Oct. 15, 2013 Volunteers and OurPlace Teens, speak about the Organization and prepare for the race.
(Credit: Shmuel Lenchevsky/VINnews.com)
Our Place hopes that this year’s race, which is partially sponsored by VIN News, will raise $100,000 to fund its many programs designed to help teens and young adults who are dealing with substance abuse, depression and other life-altering circumstances. With services including 12-step support groups, teen drop in centers, a 24 hour crisis hotline, mentoring, vocational and educational placement and drug rehabilitation and therapy placement networks, Our Place serves almost 1,000 Jewish teens each year at separate boys and girls facilities in Brooklyn.
Rabbi Aryeh Young, executive director of Our Place, estimates that approximately 100 teens take advantage of the organization’s facilities every night.
“Things are booming here,” Rabbi Young told VIN News. “The place is really popping.”
Despite the recreational activities, the music and gym programs and the meals offered nightly by sponsors Eden Wok, Orchidea, Mountain Fruit, Meal Mart, Kadosh Pizza and Amnon’s Pizza, Our Place deals with very stark realities. According to statistics released by the organization, 10 percent of the teens who come to Our Place are homeless and 20 percent do not live at home. More than half of Our Place’s clients have been arrested before age 18 and 70 percent of the high school age boys who come to Our Place’s drop in centers are not enrolled in any school.
“As time are becoming more challenging, Our Place is, unfortunately, needed more and more,” said Our Place co-founder Eli Verschleiser.
Running is just one of the many activities offered at Our Place, which will be fielding its own nineteen man team for the 5K race.
“Our team goes out running almost nightly which both promotes good health and is also a proven method of helping kids with substance abuse issues,” said Yossi Yurowitz of Our Place. “We find that it motivates the kids and makes them feel better about themselves. The Our Place team is challenging everyone to come out and race against them.”
With less than two weeks left to go until the race, Our Place has already raised over $45,000 for the annual event. Both walkers and runners are invited to take part in the race which will begin with a welcome reception at 10:30, followed by the men’s race at 11:00 PM and the women’s race at 11:30 PM. A shorter children’s race will take place between the men’s and women’s races.
To sign up for the Our Place 5K or for more information visit Our Place online at TeamOurPlace.org. For further information on Our Place or sponsorship opportunities contact Rabbi Young at [email protected] or at 516-512-4494.