Street Stories

Our team loves to share stories about our awesome clients and about the amazing work we get to do.

Featured Client Story

Taylor’s life story was like that of so many of our clients. Given up for adoption at age 5, she grew up in a foster home but ran away at 17. She joined a carnival, started using drugs, became pregnant, lost custody of her baby to CPS and wound up homeless. Her downward spiral slowed the day she became an SYM client and learned how to find stability and sobriety β€” and, most of all, hope. Now, she’s housed and slowly rebuilding her life. She’s even reconnected with her birth family. β€œI’m learning how to save money, how to pay my rent, how to do everything I should already know,” she wrote us on Facebook. β€œBut this is hard for me. I’m in the transition process. If it weren’t for the Street Youth Ministry, I would be lost. Thank you all for helping me!” It’s a privilege to make room in our lives for this important work!

Featured Team Story

A look into helping our awesome clients from the team. A week's worth of effort from a recent Facebook post.

Friday, the clients were celebrating Juneteenth to remember the end of slavery in Texas and hope for social justice and equality for all in the near future. Twenty two clients enjoyed special home-cooked food (with social distancing) courtesy of the kind donors (see photo of awesome menu). Thank you to everyone who cooked and brought the food. The clients really enjoyed it! Rosie took a nap after she begged bites from many!

One client continued a one-on-one study of the Gospel of Mark followed with prayers via our Help Line service. Thanks to our new Virtual Volunteer Shanillis Ortiz Reyes who has been working on our Learn & Earn project...coming soon!

Our clients are awesome! Our website has the latest real-time data to celebrate. Even with the pandemic, it shows 72 unique clients in the past 14 days. 75% of them are engaged in our programs of guidance and groups. 80% are making and achieving goals. 111 new clients have come to us this year (5 per month). That's trust. Clients have engaged in 5700 programming hours (46 per day), including 10 new virtual events needed because of the pandemic. That's fresh. 588 life changes so far this year (24 per week). That's empowering and inspiring! Something to celebrate! And we’re diverse with 30% women, 20% black, and 18% Hispanic.

Juneteenth Special Food

Prepared and dropped-off by our awesome volunteers!

Our Peace Project

What's on our clients' minds the week of Juneteenth.

SafeDrop-by Service

This is what it looks like to serve food, clothing, toiletries and more every day during the pandemic.

Juneteenth Menu


Receive more Street stories!

We'd love to send you more:

  • Street stories
    • by email or US mail (quarterly)
    • by SMS (one or two Sundays a month)
  • Prayer stories
    • by email (monthly plus 1 or 2 prayer requests a month)
    • by SMS (coming soon; sign up now and we'll switch you over)
  • Volunteer stories by email (three times a year and include volunteer opportunities)
  • Partner stories by email three times a year (for groups, companies and churches)
  • Donor stories by email once a quarter. Inside stories just for donors or those who aspire to be!

You can also request stories by calling or sending a text message to our Help Line. Tell us which stories and your email and mailing address.

Our Founder's Story

The ministry was founded in 2008 by Terry Cole, who is a full-time missionary for SYM. Terry began volunteering with this population in 2003, while still working in high tech. Terry worked as a technical executive on xDSL and WiFi, helping standardize and drive adoption worldwide. He started working daily with the homeless youth population in 2008 as an unpaid intern in two organizations. In 2009, Terry began our first weekly event on the street. Then he added a Bible study later that year. He kept finding needs and adding weekly innovative events that combine faith and practical help until we had more than ten weekly popup events all over the West Campus neighborhood! And then in 2017 the opportunity arose to move into a full-time facility. Terry is joined by staff, interns and volunteers in a diverse and effective grassroots organization! Today Terry is leading expansion to bring critical guidance counseling to even more street youth in more distant locations. Terry remains active in high tech as a Salesforce MVP, teaching nonprofits how to leverage powerful tech for big impact!

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