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Cleveland Team Exceeds Goal in 100-Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness

Through collaboration, A Place 4 Me initiative housed 103 homeless young adults in 100 days 

CLEVELAND, OHIO – January 6, 2017 – As one of three communities selected nationally for the 100-Day Challenge to end youth homelessness, Cleveland’s team has exceeded its goal by housing 105 homeless young adults in Cuyahoga County 100 days.

The Cleveland team, led by the A Place 4 Me initiative, had set out with the ambitious goal to secure housing for 100 homeless youth ages 18-24 in 100 days, and to strengthen support systems to prevent homelessness among youth who have aged out of the foster care system.

Throughout the 100-Day Challenge, which ran from September through December, Cleveland’s team placed 105 young adults through: Rapid Re-housing, living with family or friends, renting on their own, permanent supportive housing or public housing. Overall demographic data and metrics for the 100-Day Challenge are at: awayhomeamerica.org/100-day-challenge-cleveland.

The Cleveland’s 100-Day Challenge team achieved success through the development of:

  • A robust and dynamic “by-name list” of all homeless young adults (ages 18 to 24) in Cuyahoga County. By-name lists are proven to be essential in tracking and updating data on the numbers and characteristics of individuals experiencing homelessness. A by-name list is a real-time tool to facilitate ongoing, collaborative efforts to re-house each client.
  • Twelve navigators who walk hand-in-hand with young adults on the by-name list as they take steps to achieve stable housing. Navigators also connect clients to critical resources to ensure stability, including employment, education, legal assistance, tenant training and more.
  • Resource guide to help navigators ensure client awareness of and access to resources and services available in the community. In addition, the 100-Day Challenge Team created a fund to purchase beds, lodging kits, food cards, bus tickets, etc. to support young adults as they moved into housing.
  • Expanded pool of age-appropriate housing options for young adults, including rental opportunities.
  • Enhanced processes by the Division of Children and Family Services to proactively identify and strengthen supports for young adults most at-risk of homelessness upon leaving the foster care system. These efforts seek to forevermore help young adults maintain stable housing post-foster care.

“The 100-Day Challenge demonstrated two things:  a limited timeframe provides a critical sense of urgency, and ‘permission’ from system leaders provides space for front-line staff to innovate. This combination fuels an effective approach to collectively combat complex social problems like youth homelessness,” said Kate Lodge, project director of A Place 4 Me. “We could not have achieved our success here in Cleveland without the commitment, effort and support every single day from A Place 4 Me partners and of the community.”

Cleveland’s 100-Day Challenge team includes representatives from:

  • A Place 4 Me
  • Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County
  • Bellefaire JCB
  • Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS)
  • Cuyahoga County Jobs and Family Services
  • Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services
  • EDEN Inc.
  • FrontLine Service
  • LGBT Community Center
  • Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
  • Two youth leaders from the community who have experienced homelessness
  • YWCA Greater Cleveland

To continue the momentum, Cleveland’s team is returning to meet January 9 and 10 in Austin, TX. There, all three 100-Day Challenge community teams (Cleveland, Austin and Los Angeles), as well as federal partners and supporters, will reflect on the experience and work to sustain successes. The 100-Day Challenge is part of the national movement to end youth homelessness, represented by A Way Home America. The Rapid Results Institute (RRI) facilitated the challenge and provided coaching to the communities, with the support of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Casey Family Programs, Melville Charitable Trust and Raikes Foundation.

Organizations and communities interested in following the lessons learned by the three communities on the 100-Day Challenge to end youth homelessness can sign up to receive news at awayhomeamerica.org.  AWHA will share future opportunities to launch additional 100-Day Challenges in 2017.  On Tuesday, January 10, at 1:30 CT, the three communities will join a google hangout, with support from the Funders Together to End Homeless, to share results and reflections on the approach.  Contact Jennifer Onley at jennifer@funderstogether.org for guidance on how to join the national broadcast.

Furthermore, the A Place 4 Me partners plan to keep the momentum going in Cleveland, including through an annual homelessness symposium on Tuesday, January 24, at the Global Center for Health Innovation. The symposium, which will feature local and national speakers, is hosted by the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, a founding steering committee member of the A Place 4 Me initiative.

About A Place 4 Me: A Place 4 Me (AP4M) is a cross-sector initiative that harnesses the strengths and resources of many partners to prevent and end homelessness among young adults age 15 to 24 in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. The initiative is collaboratively led by a steering committee of the YWCA Greater Cleveland; Cuyahoga County Department of Health and Human Services, including the Division of Children and Family Services and the Office of Homeless Services; FrontLine Service; the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative; and the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.

About A Way Home America: A Way Home America (AWHA) is a national initiative to build the movement to prevent and end homelessness among young people. AWHA is made up of advocates, researchers, young people, local and state public sector organizations, homeless youth providers and philanthropists uniting behind the federal goal of ending youth homelessness by the end of 2020.

About the Rapid Results Institute: The Rapid Results Institute (RRI) is a nonprofit organization that creates transformative and sustained impact on tough societal challenges. RRI enables front-line teams to deliver seemingly impossible results, often in 100 days or less, and helps leaders leverage these initial results into sustained, long-term impact.

ABOUT THE SISTERS OF CHARITY FOUNDATION OF CLEVELAND

Since 1996, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland has partnered with residents, nonprofits and community leaders to change the trajectory of poverty in Cuyahoga County. Its nearly $100 million endowment includes the first health care conversion foundation and first foundation formed by a congregation of Catholic sisters in the United States.

Through grantmaking, collaboration advocacy and more, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland works to improve the lives of those most in need with special attention to families, women and children living in poverty. The foundation works to end homelessness in Cuyahoga County and to reduce health disparities and improve educational opportunities in Cleveland’s Central Neighborhood. As a Catholic organization, the foundation extends the values of Jesus Christ through the mission of its founders – the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine – and also works to sustain the ministries of women religious.

Media Contact: Rebecca Gallant, office: 216-696-8408, cell: 216-288-0239, rgallant@sistersofcharityhealth.org 

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