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Avenues for Homeless Youth
 

Avenues for Homeless Youth

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Avenues for Homeless Youth by Deborah Loon from the 2013 National Conference on Ending Homelessness

Avenues for Homeless Youth by Deborah Loon from the 2013 National Conference on Ending Homelessness

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    Avenues for Homeless Youth Avenues for Homeless Youth Presentation Transcript

    • July 23, 2013 Deborah Loon Executive Director NAEH Conference
    • Shelter and Transitional Housing for 200+ homeless youth per year in Twin Cities, MN. Four programs: • Shelter and TLP in North Minneapolis • GLBT Host Home Program • Suburban Host Home Program • Minneapolis Host Home Program Avenues for Homeless Youth
    • GLBT Host Home Program • Created by GLBT community • Nationally-recognized model Suburban Host Home Program • Created by community volunteers and youth-serving agencies in fall 2011 • Youth from Hennepin County suburbs Minneapolis Host Home Program • Launched fall 2012 • Youth from Minneapolis
    • • Safe & stable transition-like housing • Cost-effective (50% cost / youth vs. congregate) • When it works well, it is so much more…. • Long-term relationships critical for success in life • Changes lives – youth AND hosts • By extension, changes the community Why Host HomesWhy Host Homes
    • • Outside the system • Recruit, screen and train community volunteers to provide short-term, supportive housing for homeless youth • Program manager supports hosts – regular contact, monthly meetings, support groups • Youth referred by many partners – homeless youth agencies, school and county social workers • Youth receive ongoing case management Basic OperationBasic Operation
    • Community Advisory or Action Council • Reflects the community, activists • Not just social service providers • Key to host recruitment and program promotion Key FeaturesKey Features
    • Host screening • Background checks, 2-3 interviews, reference checks Host training • Video to provide context to homelessness, trauma and resiliency, gender/transgender, anti-racism/white privilege, self-reflection exercises, panels of past hosts and youth Key FeaturesKey Features
    • Careful youth referrals • Case manager needs to work with youth at least one month • Youth are voluntary participants…they are never “placed” Youth-driven matching process Consistent support of hosts and youth Key FeaturesKey Features
    • Ongoing host training and support by program manager • Calls and meetings, as needed • Monthly support groups • Monthly meeting in the home • 2-3 trainings per year Ongoing youth support by case manager Key FeaturesKey Features
    • Not easy! Leap of faith for participants. • Manage expectations. Guarantee there will be conflicts and really difficult times. Hosts can’t expect youth to be “grateful.” And hosts will always wish they knew more about the youth. • Help hosts set clear boundaries. Communicate, train, support…repeat. Lessons LearnedLessons Learned
    • • Must be created and owned by the community. Can’t be another social service program. • Bias against government funding – do not want program to become rules-based. • Good case management is crucial. But referring partners often lack capacity to case manage while in host home. Lessons LearnedLessons Learned
    • www.avenuesforyouth.org 612-522-1690 deb@avenuesforyouth.org