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Nature Deficit Disorder: Saving our urban youth

November 8, 2010

by Sister Stephanie Hughes

A sure cure for Nature Deficit Disorder: a day in the woods, the first ever for many youngsters from Alice Griffith, where their parents are often afraid to let them play outdoors. Here in the Presidio forest, looking through binoculars for the first time, they’re watching the birds and maybe wondering how it feels to be so free. Help Sister Stephanie raise the funds for a van to take them on more outings. – Photo: Sis. Stephanie Hughes
For many youth living in Alice Griffith housing projects, getting outdoors has been difficult. Many of our youth accept violence and crime as commonplace, which has led to behavioral and learning difficulties if not severe emotional and mental trauma for our youth and families.

The day to day violence and lack of opportunity to be outside their normal environment has subjected our community to Nature Deficit Disorder – children spending less time outdoors, resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems

Lazarus House has been able to engage over 120 youth and families on first-time outdoor experiences. Our youth and families have had the opportunity to go camping and hiking, with the occasional trip to the San Francisco Ballet. These opportunities have helped youth and families step outside their environment and experience something new and beautiful and fight Nature Deficit Disorder.

Our campaign

In order to continue our work, we are currently in a fundraising drive to buy a 12-passenger van. This van can help facilitate more opportunities for our youth and families. To make this happen, it’s going to take people like you to help!

Please help us in our Campaign to Save our Youth and fight against Nature Deficit Disorder. Donate and make a difference in a child’s life.

Donations go to Lazarus House Healing by Faith Ministry, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donate online at, or mail a check or money order to Lazarus House, 5 Cameron Way, San Francisco CA 94124.

Sister Stephanie Hughes, founder and director of Lazarus House, can be reached at

One thought on “Nature Deficit Disorder: Saving our urban youth

  1. Byron Gafford

    Hi Sister Stephanie Hughes its me Byron Gafford the one who write poetry for the youth from the Lord I like what you are doing with Gods youth I have some information that I thank it will help everybody youth and adults start to mend their broken hearts back together through the Lords spoken word. If you don't remember me I am (pierre) brother you can contact me on my cell 415 -933-2059 lets talk please


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