County stakeholders commit that no youth will age out of foster care into homelessness
This week, Cleveland/Cuyahoga’s A Place 4 Me initiative set an ambitious goal to house 100 homeless youth ages 18-24 by December 18, 2016, which is 100 days from today. Further, the initiative aims to strengthen support systems so that by November 14, 2016, no child will age out of the foster care system into homelessness ever again. This goal was established as part of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County’s 100-Day Challenge to prevent and end youth homelessness.
“In Cuyahoga County, there are nearly 150 young people who age out of the foster care system each year. We know these young people are most at risk for facing homelessness or having an unstable housing situation; in fact, 40% are likely to experience some housing instability by the time they reach 24 years old,” said Kate Lodge, project director of A Place 4 Me. “Young people experiencing homelessness face nearly insurmountable obstacles to find and keep employment and build and maintain family relationships, which is why we are pouring our efforts into preventing and ending youth homelessness.”
Cleveland’s 100-Day Challenge Team, consisting of representatives from 12 organizations that respond to and prevent youth homelessness, determined the local 100-Day Challenge goal. This team will implement work, such as identifying “system navigators” to proactively guide youth to resources for housing, and prioritizing new and existing short- and long-term rental assistance to provide access to immediate permanent housing for youth living in shelters or on the streets.
Representatives on Cleveland’s 100-Day Challenge Team include the following:
- A Place 4 Me
- ADAMHS Board
- 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
Following a competitive nationwide search, A Way Home America chose three cities – Cleveland, Austin and Los Angeles — to participate in 100-Day Challenges and receive coaching support from the Rapid Results Institute, a national nonprofit organization with experience and results in time-limited initiatives.
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.
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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 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.
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About Cleveland’s 100-Day Challenge
Following a competitive nationwide search, A Way Home America announced in July 2016 that Cleveland, Austin and Los Angeles would 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, with September 9th as day #1.