Blue Tattoo Cafe raises money for homeless youth

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El Cajon’s Blue Tattoo Café owner and artist Sky Mason, is calling on his villagers to help raise children the only way he knows how—through custom pieces of art.

In the U.S., the tattooed population was once looked down on, but today 45 million people have at least one tattoo. Mason is calling on the masses to help a group that is being looked down on and neglected, San Diego County’s growing homeless youth population.

El Cajon’s Blue Tattoo Café owner and artist Sky Mason, is calling on his villagers to help raise children the only way he knows how—through custom pieces of art.

In the U.S., the tattooed population was once looked down on, but today 45 million people have at least one tattoo. Mason is calling on the masses to help a group that is being looked down on and neglected, San Diego County’s growing homeless youth population.

“I just can’t understand why we have kids on the street,” he said. “As a society, we have the means to end the misfortunate circumstances of our youth. A community should be focused and take on the responsibility, as a whole, to protect our children.”

Mason’s plan is to ask the community donate “survival bags,” filled with clothing, bus passes and school supplies to the homeless and at-risk youth of San Diego County. Last year, Mason said the Blue Tattoo Café was able to donate $20,000 worth of school supplies and other necessities through their “Toys for Tats” initiative and hopes to increase that amount this year. The donations will be given to San Diego Youth Services, a nationally recognized, comprehensive non-profit organization, to distribute to the underprivileged children.

In exchange for every item on their donation wish list, Blue Tattoo Café will provide up to 1.5 hours of tattoo time for each complete bag donated to Blue Tattoo Café. Mason said these bags are extremely precious to an individual in need.

“If you give these kids something as simple as a backpack with some supplies and toiletries, it makes a huge difference,” he said. “Most people don’t understand the incredible value of having something as simple as a backpack to carry their stuff around in. It is a major thing.”

Children as young as 12-years-old, are forced to leave home because of substance abuse, poverty, mental and physical abuse or any combination. They do their best to survive the harsh living conditions of the mean streets. Mason said he understands how vulnerable the homeless and at-risk youth population is and he had had enough of the neglect that is shown to these children.

A dangerous living situation during his teenage years compelled him to escape the grasps of his tragic home life. With nowhere else to turn, Mason said he ended up on the perilous streets of Downtown San Diego at the age of 14, relying solely on his own unseasoned instincts and intuitions. After several scrapes with danger, he credits SDYS for giving him a new opportunity to succeed.

“I came dangerously close to being kidnapped myself on at least two separate occasions,” he said. “You’re sleeping under a bridge or on some steps and someone comes up and tries to grab while you’re sleeping, you’re at an extreme disadvantage. I feel like I this place saved my life. I don’t think I would be where I am today without that program.”

Blue Tattoo Café’s charitable promotion will run through August 21 and appointments expected to fill up quickly. 

To make an appointment, donation or to get more information visit Blue tattoo Café at 457 El Cajon Blvd. El Cajon, CA 92020 or www.bluetattoocafe.com.

For more information on San Diego Youth Services visit www.sdyouthservices.org.

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