Homelessness

100-Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness Update: Youth Partnership & Resources!

 

100-Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness

 

Youth Partnership, Resources, and Community Spotlight

We have less than 30 days to go!

The teams have been doing a tremendous job working with their communities, system leaders, and youth partners in their local 100 Day Challenge. To follow each team's progress toward their goals, go to ctcandata.org. New data is added weekly.

One of the main components of this effort has been the incorporation and involvement of youth partners in the decision-making process and their role as catalyst change agents. The Youth Action Hub is providing technical assistance to regional youth by working with the teams to identify how to best meet the needs of youth partners and checking in regularly with youth to discuss any barriers they may be experiencing and troubleshoot solutions.

Youth Partnership

Angel Cotto from the Youth Action Hub (YAH) shared his input on some of the advances Connecticut has made in encouraging authentic youth partnership during the 100-Day Challenge.

The launch of the 100 days began with many of the regions in CT bringing young people to be part of their teams. CT knew that, in order to end the problem of youth homelessness, you need the expertise of the people actually using the services and navigating the system. Young people with lived experience of homelessness know what services are accessible, which one has worked or not worked for them and their friends.

The first day of the launch the youth partners and YAH members did this activity called the perfect youth partner. We used a long roll of paper, and one young person laid down on the paper and we outlined them. On the inside, we asked them to think about what behaviors and attitudes they see expected of them as young leaders in the 100-day challenge. After that we had a conversation about their roles, exchanged contact information and encouraged each other. We told them they had a support system, and that they weren't alone in this effort and could do this work. They had the power to say what they wanted to during meetings, and be able to stop meetings if they had questions and that staff were getting paid to help them.

Since the 100 days started, there has been plenty of youth-led work such as:

Social Media

  • Creating social media accounts for teams, such as a Facebook page where teams can share status updates and promote events. In Fairfield County, the youth created a social media event page for the 100-day team where they are promoting a fair they hosted.

Outreach

  • Developing fliers in Southeast and Fairfield County to share information around available services and promote events.

Event Planning

  • Organizing youth led events. Southeast and Hartford had a youth-led community event where they got organizations from the area to come out and hand out information to local services and organizations.
  • Facilitating and speaking at regional 100 Day Challenge related events. For example, the New Haven team hosted an apartment event and invited young people who were experiencing housing instability to come together and told them the pros and cons of shared housing.

Youth Partnership in Action

Community Spotlight: Fairfield County

On June 19th, 2019, the Fairfield County regional team held a successful 100 Day Challenge Fair with collaboration from state agencies to give information to youth facing homelessness. The fair featured free haircuts, a food truck, a DJ, and a special appearance by the mayor of Norwalk, Harry Rilling, who came to show the city’s support for the Challenge.

The team has been meeting on a weekly basis to strategize and figure out next steps for the Challenge. They have included a juvenile probation representative as one of their system leads to help them brainstorm solutions around how to address the needs of youth and young adults in the juvenile and criminal justice system.

The Fairfield County team invites everyone to follow and like the FFC 100-Day Facebook page. In the past two weeks, they have reached over 2,000 people with posts!

Upcoming Events

  • Fairfield County will be hosting a Landlord Lunch from 12 to 2pm on Monday, July 15. This event will be held at 815 Main Street, Suite 201 in Bridgeport. Click here to learn more.

Resources

  • Free Summer Meals: Children and youth in need can get breakfast and lunch this summer. Simply text "FOOD" to 877877, enter zip code when prompted and receive a message with the closest location where free summer meals are served. Or dial 211. There are no income requirements. Children 18 and under just show up throughout the summer when school is out. Click here for more information.
  • Identification: How to Get a CT ID, Replacement Birth Certificate or Social Security: The Center for Children’s Advocacy developed a teen-friendly information for how youth and young adults can get new or replacement identification.

For more information on the CT Youth Homelessness 100 Day Challenge contact Charlie Shaddox at charlie@pschousing.org or go to the Partnership for Strong Communities 100-Day Challenge webpage.

 
 

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