You might know Kahlib Barton from his work with the National Youth Forum on Homelessness or the 2016 40 of the 40 list! We’re excited to announce that Kahlib has joined our team as our new Program Officer.
Kahlib will be working out of our Washington, D.C. office alongside Policy Director Justin Rush, JD and Executive Director & CEO Gregory Lewis.
We asked Kahlib a few questions to help you get to know him better…
Tell us a bit about your life and work prior to joining the True Colors Fund. Whatcha been up to?
Prior to moving to D.C., I lived in Denver, Colorado where I was working with Denver Public Schools as the director of a STEM-based arts program. I worked with young people to create these beautiful stage productions completely written, costumed, designed, and performed by the youth.
After that, I moved to D.C. and began working in Public Health with an organization called Us Helping Us. There I began leading their PrEP initiative. That work fortunately expanded my capacity in multiple ways, one of them being introducing me to many different people and entities.
Since, I began working with NMAC and DSFederal providing capacity building assistance for service providers.
Why the True Colors Fund?
The True Colors Fund gave me an opportunity to see my own personal experience with homelessness in a different light. I gained strength and confidence through my work on the National Youth Forum on Homelessness, much of which informs my personal advocacy objectives.
I have existed for so long in public health spaces that do not acknowledge the severity of youth homelessness, and seen how it has a direct implication on every aspect holistic health. Yet, public health and homelessness work continues to exist in silo. I believe it is time for convergence.
What sort of work will you be up to in your new position – and what are you most excited about?
In my new position, I will be focusing on policy and authentic youth collaboration. I have the pleasure of having two parts to my job; one being working directly with the National Youth Forum on Homelessness! I am so thrilled about the opportunity to expand work with some very brilliant people I consider to be family.
Additionally, I will be working with TCF’s Policy Director, Justin Rush, JD, to release a state-by-state index that scores each on how they are approaching and combating youth homelessness.
What do you geek out about?
I am from Texas! I love most things Southern including the food, the outdoors, and the twang. I live for Beyoncé because why wouldn’t I?
I LOVEEEEE theatre and television. Besides food, fashion is the way to my heart.
The National Youth Forum on Homelessness is open to young adults between ages of 21 and 27 who experienced unaccompanied homelessness while between the ages of 13 and 25. Members of the Forum receive a stipend for their participation, and membership is for two years.
If you’re interested in becoming a part of this work, we welcome you to apply using the form below: