The fastest rising group of the homeless population, both locally and nationwide, are young adults age 18-24. In 2016, 428 young adults age 18-24 were living in adult emergency shelter or on the streets, plus an additional 450 youth below the age of 18 were served by YMCA Safe Place of Louisville.
In response to this alarming data, the Coalition for the Homeless and a committee of nearly 50 local providers, community leaders and government members have launched a new Rx: Housing initiative to end homelessness among unaccompanied young adults by the end of 2020, if not sooner. The extensive plan focuses on intervention by providing housing and life-changing services, which are intended to lead to health benefits and self-sufficiency. Partners include the Family Scholar House, Home of the Innocents, YMCA Safe Place Services of Louisville, KentuckianaWorks, YouthBuild and Centerstone.
The Coalition for the Homeless estimates that the annual cost to taxpayers for the 418 homeless young adults identified in Louisville is $14,892,156. The likelihood of government assistance for a lifetime for young adults increases exponentially if their needs are not addressed by the age of 24.
“We have no time to lose as witnessed by increasing crime rates and the numbers of disconnected youth in our city,” says Natalie Harris, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless. “This is an ambitious plan, but because we’ve had success with our previous Rx: Housing initiatives (reducing the chronically homeless by 66% and reaching functional zero for veteran homelessness), we know that we can be successful again, thanks to our collaborative and data-driven solutions modeled on national best practices.”
Click here to read the full plan.
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