2018-07-18 / Features

Girl Scouts Of Greater New York Troop 6000 Now Serve Over 500 Girls And Women

The Mayor de Blasio administration announced on July 12 that thanks to public-private partnership and $1 million of city investment Girl Scout Troop 6000 has expanded to 15 shelter facilities for families with children across all five boroughs, with more than 500 girls and women now participating in the leadership and community development program. Girl Scout Troop 6000, the first of its kind Girl Scout troop dedicated to serving girls and women in the shelter system as they get back on their feet, was established in February 2017 through a partnership between the city Department of Homeless Services and the Girl Scouts of Greater New York.

“These bright, brilliant scouts and future leaders of our city stole the hearts of New Yorkers and millions around the country with their story,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer more homeless girls across the five boroughs the opportunity to participate in a program that helps build confidence in young women.”

“The Girl Scouts in Troop 6000 are an impressive representation of New York City’s next generation of entrepreneurs, leaders and humanitarians,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “With Troop 6000 in all five boroughs, any girl or young woman who wants to be a scout, can be a scout— no matter where she lives. Programs like these create continuity for young people whose families may need to relocate often. The ambition and endurance of Troop 6000 is a testament to the values of Girl Scouts USA, and the values of New Yorkers.”

Homelessness today is driven by economic factors, including years of stagnant wages not keeping up with the rising costs of housing. Families comprise nearly 70 percent of the Department of Homeless Services shelter census—and roughly one third of the shelter census is school-age children 17 years old and younger. Programming like Girl Scouting engages young New Yorkers through positivity, promotes teamwork by strengthening the bonds between young New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, and preserves stability, all while demonstrating the importance of ongoing community involvement. Research has shown that Girl Scout alumnae have a stronger sense of self, achieve higher levels of education, and are more likely to reach a higher socioeconomic status.

Each week, Troop 6000 meets in shelters across the city, led by trained troop leaders— women also living in the shelter system as well as community volunteers in conjunction with shelter staff. To accommodate the mobility of these girls and women, troop leaders and girls alike can attend meetings at any shelter knowing they are all already part of the same welcoming troop.

“Girl Scouting showed me that I shouldn’t be ashamed of who I am, what I look like, or where I live, and that homelessness does not define me. Troop 6000 taught me about sisterhood, how to be courageous and how to advocate for girls just like myself,” said Karina, a Troop 6000 Girl Scout residing in Queens.

“Every single girl in the City of New York deserves the opportunity to join a community where they are told that they are welcome, that they belong and that they are loved,” said City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “Troop 6000 helps girls have a place where they can feel home even when they are homeless. This program changes lives. I am so happy to have helped create Troop 6000 and am thrilled that it is expanding to serve more young people.”

”I love that I have the opportunity to participate in Troop 6000. It’s the only place I can really be myself and it makes me happy,” said Lexy, a Troop 6000 Girl Scout residing in Brooklyn.

“Being a Girl Scout has opened up a new experience for me. I’ve met new girls, created bonds with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Being a part of Troop 6000 has allowed me to connect with other girls who understand me and I have accepted them all as my sisters,” said Daisy, a Troop 6000 Girl Scout residing in the Bronx.

To contribute to the expansion of Girl Scout Troop 6000, visit: www1.nyc.gov/site/fund/initiatives/support-girl-scout-troop-6000.page.

To contribute to the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, visit: www.girlscoutsnyc.org/donate.

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