The Coalition for the Homeless in Louisville began working to understand youth homelessness in 2013, including two studies on the needs of youth and the creation of a committee called the Coalition Supporting Young Adults (CSYA), now a separate partner organization. The CSYA undertook community mapping to understand existing resources, including youth shelter; drop in centers; and education, employment and housing opportunities available for homeless youth. This mapping process enabled CSYA and the community to identify gaps and potential opportunities to re-allocate existing resources. The collaborative work of CSYA has already supported the development of new resources including two new drop-in centers, a community-wide plan to reengage out of school youth and a professional development program to train a cohort of “connectors” who can quickly link homeless and disconnected youth. In addition to CSYA, a Youth Advisory Board, an Education/Employment Collaborative, and a Homeless Youth Committee consisting of 41 community leaders have also all been formed. These entities will be crucial as Louisville continues to address youth homelessness during the 100-Day Challenge.
“Our plan and implementation must not only address the housing needs of approximately 868 youth, but also create preventive solutions to keep the large number of precariously housed youth counted by JCPS not only out of the shelters, but in a safe setting that allows them to thrive,” says Natalie Harris, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless in Louisville. “One of our main focuses will be in creating transitional and rapid rehousing programs integrated with education and employment.”
By meeting and then exceeding their goals, Austin, Cleveland, and Los Angeles set the bar Fall 2016: together, they housed nearly 450 young people in just 100 days. These three communities were the first round of 100-Day Challenges on youth homelessness.
Individuals, organizations, and communities interested in following the 100-Day Challenge progress can sign up to receive news from AWHA at awayhomeamerica.org. Those interested can also follow the challenges using #100DayChallengeAccepted and #endyouthhomelessness on Twitter.
For more information about the efforts of the Coalition for the Homeless in Louisville, visit www.louhomeless.org or call (502) 636-9550.
About the Coalition for the Homeless
The Coalition for the Homeless, located at 1300 S. 4th Street, Suite 250, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to prevent and eliminate homelessness in Louisville. The Coalition has a three-pronged approach to this mission: advocacy, education, and coordination of their 31 member agencies that provide a variety of services to the homeless throughout the city. The Coalition for the Homeless and 41 partners began a city-wide effort to end youth and young adult homelessness in 2017. You can change a life. Be a mentor or hire a young adult in need in our community. For places to get involved, go to: http://louhomeless.org/?p=
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