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The Identity Program

The Identity program and our Outreach initiative began with a grant and a vision to support youth through off-site programs.

Youth who experience unresolved grief without adequate support are more prone to substance abuse, academic struggles, depression, anxiety, and difficulties in maintaining healthy relationships. We recognized that, in certain areas of our community, the need for grief services was present and the services of Erin’s House were unknown. We couldn’t let these setbacks of local youth who are grieving go unnoticed.

The Identity Outreach Program officially came to fruition through a New York Life Foundation grant in 2018 and was born with a clear plan: to provide Erin’s House services to youth in areas of our community where there is an increased rate of violence, tragedy, and death.

Just like on-site programs at Erin’s House, the Identity program tackles the impact of unresolved grief by offering customized peer-support sessions and engaging activities. Through a nurturing environment, group activities give participants the ability to express themselves with peers similar to them who have also experienced a death. Additionally, through collaborative efforts with organizations like The Euell Wilson Center, Fort Wayne Parks Community Centers, and The Renaissance YMCA, we can meet youth in their local spaces when they are available. As Identity has grown, we’ve seen a growing number of youth who are actively involved and working towards healing.

Erick T. Baker, Director of Community Outreach, has led Identity since

its inception.

“ I have personally witnessed children in every program begin to learn and accept their grief. Over time they realize that, with their grief, they have a responsibility to themselves and others to direct their emotions and feelings in a positive way. Many children and teens who have been a part of the program now identify the importance of seeking support. The valuable tools learned in program groups allow participants to know that they have ownership over their future with grief.”

The top priority of Identity is providing free grief services to underserved areas of our community. Secondarily, we aim to inform and guide our youth and their families to ultimately join on-site programs at Erin’s House for a consistent 10 weeks of healing together.

As we continue to expand our support services and spread the mission of Erin’s House, we remain committed to advocating for the well-being of all youth whether they’re able to make it on-site or not. We strive to create a future where every young person has the resources and peer support they need to thrive beyond their grief.

Just like all Erin’s House services, Identity is provided at no cost to youth or partnering organizations.

If you feel that the Identity Program would be a beneficial partnership to your organization or business, please contact


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