Eckerd Youth Alternatives (EYA) provides early intervention and prevention, wilderness education, residential and day treatment, and re-entry and aftercare programs for at-risk youths. The not-for-profit organization has worked to help more than 80,000 kids through its operations in about 10 states, located primarily in the eastern US. Many of EYA's some 40 programs are offered under contract with state juvenile justice agencies. EYA was established in 1968 by Jack Eckerd, the founder of the Eckerd drugstore chain, and his wife, Ruth Eckerd. During the past few years, the company has been focused on expanding its community-based support programs.
In 2007, the organization launched its Eckerd Community and Home Outreach Program (ECHO) program in Louisiana's Region 3 area to serve youth and their families there. It also established the Eckerd Multi-Systemic Therapy program in Tallahassee, Florida, to provide in-home, intensive therapy, and support to youth and their families.
EYA in 2008 debuted a pair of therapeutic programs in Texas. Both community-based support programs, they include the Eckerd Community Supervision Program and the Eckerd Functional Family Therapy Program. – less