In 2004, Shambhala member Taz Tagore started the Reciprocity Foundation with Adam Bucko, a non-profit organization devoted to working with homeless youth to help them regain and improve their well being. The Reciprocity Foundation has pioneered a different way to work with homeless youth—a methodology it calls the “Whole Person” approach. A Whole Person approach involves looking deeply into a young person’s mind, heart and spirit and seeing them as a Whole Human Being—a person with the desire to realize their full potential, to make a contribution to the world, to be loved and to heal from their past.
The organization typically works with over 100 young people per year (aged 15-23 yrs) and has strong expertise supporting youth of color and youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT)
These young people are at high risk of dropping out of school, failing to find living wage employment, and becoming dependent on the human service system. Nearly all of their clients have also suffered from physical, emotional, sexual and/or psychological abuse at the hands of a close relation. However, Taz and Adam believe that their clients’ strong survival skills and unique life experiences also prepare them to become exceptional corporate leaders, community activists, media-makers and educators.
Offering programs at all major youth homeless shelters and foster care agencies; the organization’s typical success stories involve youth graduating from its program and then enrolling in college (usually with full financial aid), moving out of the shelter system and developing a strong resume step-up work experiences and professional contacts. Youth also gain access to holistic health services at their center to help them cope with stress and heal from trauma.