Engaging TAY Youth in County Wide Homeless Census (Steve Nordseth)
Engaging TAY Youth in CountyEngaging TAY Youth in County
Wide Homeless CensusWide Homeless Census
Why including youth can make your countWhy including youth can make your count
easier, safer, and more accurateeasier, safer, and more accurate
Presented by:Presented by:
Steven NordsethSteven Nordseth
Program ManagerProgram Manager
Bill Wilson 2Bill Wilson 2ndnd
Street DropStreet Drop--In CenterIn Center
San Jose, CASan Jose, CA
Presentation GoalsPresentation Goals
Provide a background for why the count isProvide a background for why the count is
important, and why it is particularly important forimportant, and why it is particularly important for
TAY youthTAY youth
Why TAY youth should be involved in the countWhy TAY youth should be involved in the count
How to engage youth, and examples ofHow to engage youth, and examples of
techniques that have been successful in the pasttechniques that have been successful in the past
Who are TAY Youth?Who are TAY Youth?
As defined byAs defined by WikipediaWikipedia::
Youth ages 16Youth ages 16--24 who are transitioning out24 who are transitioning out
of state custody or foster care and whoof state custody or foster care and who
are atare at--risk.risk.
For our purposes this definition should beFor our purposes this definition should be
expanded to include all youth 16expanded to include all youth 16--24 who are24 who are
atat--risk as systems youth are not the onlyrisk as systems youth are not the only
people making up the homeless youthpeople making up the homeless youth
Why is the Count Important to Youth?Why is the Count Important to Youth?
In a Global SenseIn a Global Sense
Figures tabulated duringFigures tabulated during
this count will be criticalthis count will be critical
pieces of evidence topieces of evidence to
determine potential needsdetermine potential needs
as well as funding andas well as funding and
resources for counties asresources for counties as
a whole, accuracy isa whole, accuracy is
For Local UseFor Local Use
The count can provide aThe count can provide a
context to the local issuecontext to the local issue
of homelessness in yourof homelessness in your
county, meaning you arecounty, meaning you are
more informed as tomore informed as to
where to direct fundingwhere to direct funding
and resources availableand resources available
within your agency towithin your agency to
most effectively serve themost effectively serve the
homeless population.homeless population.
Why Do We Need TAY Anyway?Why Do We Need TAY Anyway?
TAY youth are a less visible homelessTAY youth are a less visible homeless
population, they are less likely to sleep in publicpopulation, they are less likely to sleep in public
view, and blend in with the general youthview, and blend in with the general youth
population. Takes a trained eye to recognize.population. Takes a trained eye to recognize.
Homeless youth subculture is tight, youth knowHomeless youth subculture is tight, youth know
where and when to look for each other.where and when to look for each other.
Homeless youth are aware of what to look for asHomeless youth are aware of what to look for as
signs of homelessness.signs of homelessness.
How to Engage Youth in the CountHow to Engage Youth in the Count
Find Peer LeadersFind Peer Leaders and hold a focus group, ifand hold a focus group, if
you cook it, they will come.you cook it, they will come.
Connect youth leaders with the agency providingConnect youth leaders with the agency providing
the logistical support for the count by hosting athe logistical support for the count by hosting a
sit down or a training sessionsit down or a training session
Prepare youth for what will be in store the day ofPrepare youth for what will be in store the day of
the count, waking early, walking, communicatingthe count, waking early, walking, communicating
Use program incentives for youth participationUse program incentives for youth participation
Partnership with other youth servingPartnership with other youth serving
organizations in your areaorganizations in your area
Benefits for Staff and YouthBenefits for Staff and Youth
Decreased reliance onDecreased reliance on
staff time and resourcesstaff time and resources
More complete picture ofMore complete picture of
homelessness in yourhomelessness in your
Having TAY youth asHaving TAY youth as
gate keepers keeps staffgate keepers keeps staff
Relationship buildingRelationship building
TAY YouthTAY Youth
Sense of ownership ofSense of ownership of
TAY issuesTAY issues
Increased responsibilityIncreased responsibility
and commitment toand commitment to
Payment or incentivePayment or incentive
Relationship buildingRelationship building
Examples That Have WorkedExamples That Have Worked
Hosted trainings on site for youth, provided a meal forHosted trainings on site for youth, provided a meal for
those attendingthose attending
Sent youth to highly concentrated urban areas whereSent youth to highly concentrated urban areas where
they are familiar with the landscape and local youththey are familiar with the landscape and local youth
hangouts, service providers, buildings, or squatshangouts, service providers, buildings, or squats
Paired up one staff with 1Paired up one staff with 1--3 client volunteers for the PIT3 client volunteers for the PIT
count. Dropcount. Drop--Off for tighter geographical areas, or mobileOff for tighter geographical areas, or mobile
for large areas. Use the time you are given to complete afor large areas. Use the time you are given to complete a
thorough count, get down and dirty.thorough count, get down and dirty.
Had a brainstorm session regarding time, place, andHad a brainstorm session regarding time, place, and
techniques for survey collection,techniques for survey collection,
Locations circled on map, times indicated, teams created, logistLocations circled on map, times indicated, teams created, logisticalical
considerations, time boundaries.considerations, time boundaries.
New Ideas for Future CountsNew Ideas for Future Counts
For PIT count, work with the agencyFor PIT count, work with the agency
coordinating the count to give TAY youthcoordinating the count to give TAY youth
volunteers survey areas that have been prevolunteers survey areas that have been pre--
determined by youth (focus groups) to have adetermined by youth (focus groups) to have a
high concentration of Homeless Youth.high concentration of Homeless Youth.
Encourage youth to doEncourage youth to do ““mock Interviewsmock Interviews”” duringduring
the survey training, and to gain experiencethe survey training, and to gain experience
interviewing friends (uninterviewing friends (un--housed) prior to hittinghoused) prior to hitting
the streets.the streets.
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