Following a competitive nationwide search, A Way Home America today announced that Cleveland, Austin and Los Angeles will launch 100-Day Challenges to advance efforts to end youth homelessness. Through the challenges, A Way Home America seeks to support and accelerate the local work of the selected communities; and to inform national dialogue, learning and policy to prevent and end youth homelessness. The three communities will receive support from the Rapid Results Institute to drive toward ambitious goals over 100 days, starting September 7.
Cleveland/Cuyahoga County’s 100-Day Challenge will be coordinated by A Place 4 Me, a cross-sector initiative of more than 50 public and private agencies. The initiative has developed a strategic plan to prevent and end youth homelessness that prioritizes youth transitioning from foster care, a population particularly vulnerable to housing instability. A Place 4 Me is a collaboration led by 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, which has provided technical assistance and catalyzed funding partnership to support this initiative.
“Throughout the 100-day journey, we look forward to honing and testing new partnerships and strategies to better support the housing stability of youth transitioning from the foster care system,” said Thomas Pristow, director of the Cuyahoga County Department of Health and Human Services. “We enthusiastically embrace this opportunity from A Way Home America, and we are excited to share our learnings nationally.”
The Rapid Results Institute’s past 100-Day Challenges around veteran homelessness have shown that the limited timeframe provides the urgency needed to identify, innovate and fuel effective approaches for communities. The challenges announced today are part of the national movement to end youth homelessness, represented by A Way Home America. The Rapid Results Institute will provide coaching and support to the communities, with the support of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Casey Family Programs, Melville Charitable Trust and Raikes Foundation.
Rafael López, Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said “The Department of Health and Human Services is thrilled to support these unique 100-day challenges because we have no time to waste in generating solutions. The federal government is committed to ending youth and family homelessness by 2020. We need to support and accelerate community generated ideas to deliver better results. Together with the cities of Austin, Cleveland, and Los Angeles, we are confident that the 100-day challenge will create urgency for action and serve as a catalyst to more safely house and stabilize thousands of our nation’s homeless youth.”
“We are fully committed to A Way Home America‘s goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020,” said Janice Elliott, Executive Director of the Melville Charitable Trust. “To achieve this ambitious goal, we know we need big, bold, and creative ideas. That’s why we’re so excited to support and learn from these 100-Day Challenges in Austin, Cleveland, and Los Angeles.”
“Thousands of young people across our country will spend tonight alone without a safe place to sleep. A crisis of this magnitude requires a level of urgency to match, which is why the Rapid Results Institute’s 100-Day Challenge approach is such a perfect fit,” said Katie Hong, youth homelessness strategy director at the Raikes Foundation. “These communities will be at the leading edge of innovation that others across the country can learn from as we help this often hidden homelessness population.”
Organizations and communities interested in following the lessons learned by the three communities on their youth homelessness 100-Day Challenges can sign up to receive news from A Way Home America at www.awayhomeamerica.org.
About A Place 4 Me (Cleveland/Cuyahoga County)
A Place 4 Me is a cross-sector initiative that harnesses the strengths and resources of its partners to prevent and end homelessness among young adults age 15 to 24 in Cleveland/Cuyahoga County. A Place 4 Me is a collaboration led by a steering committee consisting of 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 goal of ending youth homelessness by the end of 2020.
About The Rapid Results Institute
The Rapid Results (RRI) Institute 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.