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Avenues for Homeless Youth

Avenues for Homeless Youth



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