26 th annual conference october 2014
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youth homelessness task forces: organizing local communities to meet youths’ needs

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26 th Annual Conference October 2014. youth homelessness task forces: organizing local communities to meet youths’ needs. NAEHCY’s Unaccompanied Youth Projects. Working with youth, service providers and community members to develop creative strategies to support unaccompanied youth.

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naehcy s unaccompanied youth projects
NAEHCY’sUnaccompanied Youth Projects
  • Working with youth, service providers and community members to develop creative strategies to support unaccompanied youth.
  • Started as a 3-year project, 9 communities
  • Studies show that coordination among youth services can greatly improve outcomes.
    • 339 at-risk youth programs spread across 12 different federal agencies
    • No one agency or organization can meet all the needs.
    • Yet no one has the time to organize a community-wide effort for youth or work on the strategies generated.
unaccompanied youth project where and why
Unaccompanied Youth Project:Where, and Why?
  • Rural, suburban, urban
  • NRS and school district data
  • Community infrastructure
  • Political significance
  • Northeast TN, Guilford County NC, San Antonio TX, San Diego and Sacramento CA, Laramie County WY, Detroit and Oakland County MI, Southern CT
unaccompanied youth project what s the overall goal
Unaccompanied Youth Project:What’s the Overall Goal?
  • Identify what youth need to reach their goals
  • Identify creative strategies to meet those needs through interagency cooperation
  • Identify new partners to energize efforts and contribute new resources.
task force membership
Task Force Membership
  • NAEHCY is working with youth, schools, service providers, city and county government, faith community, legal services, and community members to develop creative strategies to support unaccompanied youth.
  • Leadership and active participation of youth and young people are critical!
    • This requires deliberate focus: Where and when do you meet? How do you initially engage youth? What projects will they choose to invest in?
step one gather information to identify local priorities
Step One: Gather Informationto Identify Local Priorities
  • We surveyed adults.
    • Service providers and community members
  • We surveyed youth
    • Unaccompanied homeless youth ages 14-25
    • Through service providers and schools
  • Gave us guidance and legitimacy
what do youth need
What do Youth Need?
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Clothes and hygiene supplies
  • Employment
  • Medical and dental care
  • Safe, stable housing
what are the greatest barriers to youth seeking receiving services
What are the Greatest Barriers to Youth Seeking/Receiving Services?
  • Fear of referral to police, parents, foster care
  • Transportation
  • Parental consent / Paperwork reqs.
  • Lack of services
step two choose 1 2 tangible priorities to start work
Step Two: Choose 1-2 Tangible Priorities to Start Work
  • Tangible: You’ll know when you’ve achieved it.
  • Short-term: You can achieve it within a few months.
  • Reasonable: It should be doable with little to no funding and with a small core team.
  • Meaningful: It should make a difference to young people and other task force members.
  • Leadership: Know that at first, you will need to have a major role, but enlist partners from day one.
the experiences of three task forces
The Experiences ofThree Task Forces
  • Sacramento, California
  • Laramie County, Wyoming
  • Detroit, Michigan
sacramento what are some of your most exciting achievements
Sacramento:What are some of your most exciting achievements?
  • Active Youth Council
  • A2B Bike Giveaway: gave 50 bikes to youth
  • Including homeless youth in local efforts to end homelessness
  • New County funding for 6-bed TAY shelter
sacramento what or who are some keys to those successes
Sacramento:What or who are some keys to those successes?
  • Youth Inclusion
  • We provide snacks!
  • Regular meeting schedule
  • Efficient discussions that lead to actionable results
  • Focus on sustainability, diffusion of labor
sacramento what key people agencies keep the task force moving and productive
Sacramento:What key people/agencies keep the task force moving and productive?
  • Local Continuum of Care
  • McKinney-Vento liaisons
  • Statewide youth advocacy organization (CCY)
  • EDs from youth-serving orgs (Wind, Tubman House)
  • Local electeds
sacramento who are some key people agencies missing from the group
Sacramento:Who are some key people/agencies missing from the group?
  • Law Enforcement
  • Local Businesses
  • Child welfare
slide15
Sacramento:When you first were getting started, what were some of the biggest challenges?  How did you address them?
  • Sustainability
    • Encouraging others to take ownership & leadership
  • Youth input
    • Youth Council: Your Voices Matter!
sacramento at this stage in the task force what are the biggest challenges
Sacramento:At this stage in the task force, what are the biggest challenges?

In terms of structure:

  • Consistently enlisting youth as partners in action
  • Keeping the momentum

In terms of the issues:

  • Increasing housing capacity along a continuum
  • Reversing the trend of criminalizing homelessness
laramie county community partnership strong families action team homeless youth initiative
Laramie County Community PartnershipStrong Families Action Team, Homeless Youth Initiative

What are some of your most exciting achievements?

  • July 2013 – Facilitated a retreat with 25 representatives from non-profit, school, and State government – Retreat ended with three main goals:
    • Outreach and communication to homeless youth regarding resources and to the community educating the need
    • Safe stable housing – possibly using Host Home Program
    • Access to medical and behavioral health care
  • October 2014 Halloween Youth Resource Fair
  • 2013-2014 School Year Youth Task Force
  • September 2014 - Implemented Host Home Program – partnership with Catholic Charities of Wyoming
  • Broke down silos with our broad coalition
laramie county community partnership strong families action team homeless youth initiative1
Laramie County Community PartnershipStrong Families Action Team, Homeless Youth Initiative

What are some of your most exciting achievements?

  • New Initiative
    • Boarding/Rooming House
strong families action team hyi
Strong Families Action Team, HYI

What or who are keys to those successes?

  • Youth willing to express their opinions
  • Collaboration and the support of the Laramie County Community Partnership
  • Community Donations:
    • Meeting Rooms – City of Cheyenne & Wyoming Department of Health
    • Incentives for Youth Resource Fair
    • Employees time to attend coalition meetings
  • Funders
    • United Way
    • Wyoming Business Council
    • Wyoming Institute of Population Health
    • Catholic Charities of Wyoming
    • NAEHCY
  • Strength and determination of the Strong Families Action Team
strong families action team hyi1
Strong Families Action Team, HYI

What key people/agencies keep the task force moving and productive?

  • Strong Families Action Team:
  • United Way
  • Wyoming Institute of Population Health
  • Wyoming Department of Education
  • Laramie County School District #1
  • Wyoming Family Home Ownership Program
  • Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
  • Bethany Christian Services
  • City of Cheyenne
  • WYhealth
  • Faith Nurses
  • Bank of the West
  • Wyoming Citizen Review Panel
  • Military One Source
  • Realtor Association (new)
strong families action team hyi2
Strong Families Action Team, HYI

What are some key people/agencies missing from the group?

  • Laramie County Department of Family Services
  • Juvenile justice
  • Residential centers
  • Local law enforcement
strong families action team hyi3
Strong Families Action Team, HYI

At this stage, what are your biggest challenges?  Strategies to address those challenges?

  • Funding
    • Working with the Realtor Association
    • Bank representative on committee
    • Securing grants
    • Partners that have sustainable funding i.e. Catholic Charities of Wyoming
    • Wyoming Business Council opened another source of public funding due to Strong Families request for a technical grant
strong families action team hyi4
Strong Families Action Team, HYI

Challenges (cont.)

    • Liability
      • Creatively designing program
      • Meet with DFS to clarify roles
      • Support from NAEHCY
    • Location of property
      • Collaboration with Realtors and Banks
  • Staffing
      • Partnering with University of Wyoming for a graduate intern from the Social Work program
      • Volunteers from the faith-based communities
michigan task force some of your most exciting initiatives
Michigan Task Force:Some of your most exciting initiatives ?
  • Jobs Skills Training Pop-Up Workshops Underway
    • Adopting a Soft Skills Training Curriculum to present in the community
    • In the process of applying for a local community grant to support this project
    • Location Underway: Osborn High school, Alternatives for Girls and Community and Schools
  • Clothing: Partnership with Goods360 underway
    • Clothing drive project underway
  • Transportation project underway: Carpooling
    • Solicited letters to providers of drivers training to see if youth could receive discounts
michigan initiatives cont
Michigan initiatives (cont.)
  • Social Media Presence
    • Facebook Page
    • Live Website with job updates and resources coming soon
    • Links to clothing banks and housing resources for homeless youth on live website
  • Youth Council Initiative
    • Tigers Game
  • Advocacy
    • Task Force advocated on behalf of citizens amid Detroit’s Water Crisis
michigan task force what or who are some keys to those successes
Michigan Task Force :What or who are some keys to those successes?
  • Youth Voice
  • Strategic Relationship Building
  • Youth Advocates
  • Core group of task force members
  • Not giving up!
michigan what key people agencies keep the task force moving and productive
Michigan:What key people/agencies keep the task force moving and productive?
  • NAEHCY
  • Matrix Human Services
  • Detroit Public Library
  • Vista Maria
  • Osborn High School
  • McKinney Vento Liaisons from Detroit Public Schools and EAA and Community and Schools
  • Oakland County Public School’s staff
  • South Oakland Shelter
  • Youth Advocates
  • YOUTH VOICE!!
michigan who are some key people agencies missing from the group
Michigan:Who are some key people/agencies missing from the group?
  • Business Leaders
  • Community Members
  • Transportation Authority
  • Homeless Liaisons
  • DHS Workers
  • Faith Community
  • Colleges and Universities
  • College Students
  • Policy Makers
  • Youth Serving Agencies
slide29
Michigan:When you first were getting started, what were some of the biggest challenges?  How did you address them?
  • Weather
    • Rescheduling meetings
  • Securing Meeting Locations
    • Scheduling meetings at rotating locations in advance
  • Community Participation
    • Local visits and pop ups
  • Youth Council: Your Voices Matter!
michigan at this stage what are some of your biggest challenges strategies to address them
Michigan:At this stage, what are some of your biggest challenges? Strategies to address them?
  • Recruiting Youth
    • Assistance with transportation
    • Incentives: Food, Outings
    • Youth Council Initiatives
  • Attendance on Conference Calls
    • More frequent reminders
    • In-person meetings
  • Consistent Meeting Attendance
    • Schedule meetings ahead of time
    • Share task so members will feel involved
michigan current challenges and strategies cont
Michigan:Current challenges and strategies (cont.)
  • Sustainability
    • Apply for grants
    • Research
    • Assigning internal leadership
    • Obtaining match funding for projects from partners
  • Key Leaders at the table
  • Bring Awareness : Increase Social Media Presence and Marketing Material
from local to state to national
From Local to State to National
  • Task Forces have been instrumental in:
    • Passing 8 state laws in CA
    • Passing 1 state law in TX (so far)
    • Getting bipartisan support for the Homeless Children and Youth Act
contact information
Contact Information
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