Sioux Falls (SD) Nonprofit's Homeless Youth Project: $1.25 Cap Raise To Complete $3.5 Million 21-Unit Youth Housing Complex, 100 Homeless Students Between 16-21, Four Referrals For Housing Per Week

Homeless youth in Sioux Falls and surrounding areas could soon have a shorter wait time to get support services if donors are generous enough to help pay for a new $3.5 million affordable housing complex on the west side of town.   https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/education/2018/11/04/sioux-falls-homeless-youth-program-affordable-housing/1836384002/   Volunteers of America Dakotas launched a capital fundraising campaign a year ago to build a new facility, called HomePlace, to serve the growing population of homeless youth within the city. But so far, the organization has only raised about half of what's needed, according to the group's website.  Now the group is kicking off the second half of the campaign Monday with help of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce to raise the remaining $1.25 million.  "This will allow us to expand our footprint," said Stephanie Monroe, the organization's youth and family services managing director. "This is a direct response to the trend we've seen for a number of years."  The chamber chose the campaign for its November community appeals spot as part of the Community Appeals Committee, which selects projects connected to nonprofits or businesses to help bring in donations, said Rebecca Deelstra, the business development and marketing managing director for Volunteers of America.  Both entities will hold a social gathering for the campaign at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Cherapa Place in Sioux Falls. If the campaign is successful, Volunteers of America could open up the new 21-unit complex as early as 2020, near South Theodore Avenue and W. 41st Street.  New facility would double in size  For the last 18 years, the nonprofit has only been able to serve about 10 homeless youth at a time at its current facility. But the wait time to get in is about 90 days and the average stay is about nine months to a year.  That's a long time for any homeless person to be surviving on the streets, often making them vulnerable to extortion, assault and adults who don't have their best interest at heart, among other issues, Monroe said.  "Youth homelessness looks different than adult homelessness for a variety of reasons," Monroe said. "The young people we serve, the vast majority of them if not all of them are still enrolled in high school or GED program. That's a pretty significant circumstance, because these are young people who have every reason not to attend school."  At least 1,275 kindergarten through 12th grade students currently experience homelessness, of which about 100 are between the ages of 16 and 21, within the Sioux Falls School District, according to district data.  Volunteers of America gets most of its referrals for its affordable housing complex from the district, with an average of four referrals a week overall for its transitional housing program Axis 180.  The new facility would double the amount of youth that can be served at one time in a more therapeutic setting designed to help the young adults transition into life after high school, she said.  It would also give staff at least two offices and some two-bedroom units for homeless youth with children of their own, Monroe said.  The additional space will help Axis 180 walk youth through the importance of continuing education; offer assistance with job searches, resume creating and interview skills; teach life skills like budgeting, banking and time management; help in securing permanent housing after the program and identify strong, positive people for a permanent support system.  Support is 'based in prevention'  The program gave support to 33 people this year, and on average 85 percent of those enrolled in Axis 180 end up making progress toward a high school diploma or GED. Ninety percent improve their independent living skills for employment and daily living.  "Experiencing homelessness in general is traumatic for youth and presents many challenges, but youth who experience homelessness without a legal guardian experience far greater challenges," said Traci Jensen, the school district's homeless liaison coordinator.  Children are often unable to sign documentation for themselves to qualify for community resources and often do not have the guidance of a caring adult to assist with basic skills associated with becoming a productive citizen, Jensen said.  "I am excited for the new facility to open and look forward to the expansion which will hopefully decrease the waiting time for youth to access this valuable program," Jensen said.  HomePlace will be only affordable housing complex with a transitional housing program in the area not connected to the juvenile justice program or welfare system, Monroe said.  The facility will serve as a "launchpad" for future success, because If a homeless youth doesn't get the help they need, they're four times as likely to be homeless again as an adult, Deelstra said  Once youth are in the facility, they're expected to work at least part time and pay rent, which is returned to them at the end of the program, Monroe said..  "This type of support really is (based) in prevention," Monroe said. "If our young people are graduating high school, they have employable skills and they're good tenants, good neighbors and good citizens, then that prevents the potential for ongoing dependence on formal systems as an adult."

Homeless youth in Sioux Falls and surrounding areas could soon have a shorter wait time to get support services if donors are generous enough to help pay for a new $3.5 million affordable housing complex on the west side of town.

https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/education/2018/11/04/sioux-falls-homeless-youth-program-affordable-housing/1836384002/

Volunteers of America Dakotas launched a capital fundraising campaign a year ago to build a new facility, called HomePlace, to serve the growing population of homeless youth within the city. But so far, the organization has only raised about half of what's needed, according to the group's website.

Now the group is kicking off the second half of the campaign Monday with help of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce to raise the remaining $1.25 million.

"This will allow us to expand our footprint," said Stephanie Monroe, the organization's youth and family services managing director. "This is a direct response to the trend we've seen for a number of years."

The chamber chose the campaign for its November community appeals spot as part of the Community Appeals Committee, which selects projects connected to nonprofits or businesses to help bring in donations, said Rebecca Deelstra, the business development and marketing managing director for Volunteers of America.

Both entities will hold a social gathering for the campaign at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Cherapa Place in Sioux Falls. If the campaign is successful, Volunteers of America could open up the new 21-unit complex as early as 2020, near South Theodore Avenue and W. 41st Street.

New facility would double in size

For the last 18 years, the nonprofit has only been able to serve about 10 homeless youth at a time at its current facility. But the wait time to get in is about 90 days and the average stay is about nine months to a year.

That's a long time for any homeless person to be surviving on the streets, often making them vulnerable to extortion, assault and adults who don't have their best interest at heart, among other issues, Monroe said.

"Youth homelessness looks different than adult homelessness for a variety of reasons," Monroe said. "The young people we serve, the vast majority of them if not all of them are still enrolled in high school or GED program. That's a pretty significant circumstance, because these are young people who have every reason not to attend school."

At least 1,275 kindergarten through 12th grade students currently experience homelessness, of which about 100 are between the ages of 16 and 21, within the Sioux Falls School District, according to district data.

Volunteers of America gets most of its referrals for its affordable housing complex from the district, with an average of four referrals a week overall for its transitional housing program Axis 180.

The new facility would double the amount of youth that can be served at one time in a more therapeutic setting designed to help the young adults transition into life after high school, she said.

It would also give staff at least two offices and some two-bedroom units for homeless youth with children of their own, Monroe said.

The additional space will help Axis 180 walk youth through the importance of continuing education; offer assistance with job searches, resume creating and interview skills; teach life skills like budgeting, banking and time management; help in securing permanent housing after the program and identify strong, positive people for a permanent support system.

Support is 'based in prevention'

The program gave support to 33 people this year, and on average 85 percent of those enrolled in Axis 180 end up making progress toward a high school diploma or GED. Ninety percent improve their independent living skills for employment and daily living.

"Experiencing homelessness in general is traumatic for youth and presents many challenges, but youth who experience homelessness without a legal guardian experience far greater challenges," said Traci Jensen, the school district's homeless liaison coordinator.

Children are often unable to sign documentation for themselves to qualify for community resources and often do not have the guidance of a caring adult to assist with basic skills associated with becoming a productive citizen, Jensen said.

"I am excited for the new facility to open and look forward to the expansion which will hopefully decrease the waiting time for youth to access this valuable program," Jensen said.

HomePlace will be only affordable housing complex with a transitional housing program in the area not connected to the juvenile justice program or welfare system, Monroe said.

The facility will serve as a "launchpad" for future success, because If a homeless youth doesn't get the help they need, they're four times as likely to be homeless again as an adult, Deelstra said

Once youth are in the facility, they're expected to work at least part time and pay rent, which is returned to them at the end of the program, Monroe said..

"This type of support really is (based) in prevention," Monroe said. "If our young people are graduating high school, they have employable skills and they're good tenants, good neighbors and good citizens, then that prevents the potential for ongoing dependence on formal systems as an adult."

Jamaica's Historic Public-Private Foster Care Project: 406 Children Placed In Adoptive Homes, Over 50 Residential Care Facilities, New Partnership Places Children In Foster Home Settings

The pilot is part of a three-year programme between the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) and Family Life Ministries (FLM).   http://m.jamaicaobserver.com/news/gov-t-to-embark-on-pilot-foster-care-project_158913   Under the initiative, dubbed 'For the Child Foster Care Programme', the FLM will identify, recruit, assess, engage and notify the CPFSA of prospective foster families for processing.  Both entities signed a Service Agreement to solidify the partnership during a ceremony at FLM's Cecelio Avenue offices in St Andrew on Tuesday.  State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Alando Terrelonge welcomed the partnership noting that it is “a key step forward in the progress being implemented in Jamaica for the care and protection of our children”.  “This collaboration, I believe, will be the beginning of a significant move of children from State care facilities into homes with loving parents, who will not just care for them emotionally, physically but [also] ensure that their psychological needs are met; in particular to build their self-confidence and their self-esteem, their self-worth and their sense of value,” he said.  Chief executive officer of the FLM Dr Barry Davidson explained that under the arrangement, the entity will be seeking “devoted, Christian families to help us show love, care [and] compassion for children who are in State care”.  “FLM would like to bridge the gap between the challenges that we are facing in our society with so many children who are neglected, who are not cared for and who need our help. Our solution is to provide therapeutic family homes for these children,” he said.  Dr Davidson said the FLM will be recruiting parents from churches, who will then be screened to ensure that they are suitable in all aspects of parenting. The selected parents will then be trained “to become the kind of parents who would be very effective in caring for these children,” he noted.  “We will be engaging in a matching programme where we will be matching these parents to children from CPFSA. Once a child has been properly matched, we will assist the parent to provide ongoing care for these children by providing them with ongoing supervision, counselling, and support for the family,” he added.  For CEO of the CPFSA Rosalee Gage-Grey, the agreement is historic, as it marks Jamaica's first model public-private partnership in foster care.  “This concept has been very effective in first-world countries such as Canada, in particular Nairn Family Homes, a premier foster care institution with over 45 years of experience,” she said.  Gage-Grey noted that there are close to 4,500 children in the care of the State. More than 900 of these children are in foster care placement with over 800 foster parents.  “Our aim is to recruit more families to open their homes and hearts. This is what will be achieved through this public-private partnership to drive the recruitment, service delivery, management and treatment programmes for children,” she said.

The pilot is part of a three-year programme between the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) and Family Life Ministries (FLM).

http://m.jamaicaobserver.com/news/gov-t-to-embark-on-pilot-foster-care-project_158913

Under the initiative, dubbed 'For the Child Foster Care Programme', the FLM will identify, recruit, assess, engage and notify the CPFSA of prospective foster families for processing.

Both entities signed a Service Agreement to solidify the partnership during a ceremony at FLM's Cecelio Avenue offices in St Andrew on Tuesday.

State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Alando Terrelonge welcomed the partnership noting that it is “a key step forward in the progress being implemented in Jamaica for the care and protection of our children”.

“This collaboration, I believe, will be the beginning of a significant move of children from State care facilities into homes with loving parents, who will not just care for them emotionally, physically but [also] ensure that their psychological needs are met; in particular to build their self-confidence and their self-esteem, their self-worth and their sense of value,” he said.

Chief executive officer of the FLM Dr Barry Davidson explained that under the arrangement, the entity will be seeking “devoted, Christian families to help us show love, care [and] compassion for children who are in State care”.

“FLM would like to bridge the gap between the challenges that we are facing in our society with so many children who are neglected, who are not cared for and who need our help. Our solution is to provide therapeutic family homes for these children,” he said.

Dr Davidson said the FLM will be recruiting parents from churches, who will then be screened to ensure that they are suitable in all aspects of parenting. The selected parents will then be trained “to become the kind of parents who would be very effective in caring for these children,” he noted.

“We will be engaging in a matching programme where we will be matching these parents to children from CPFSA. Once a child has been properly matched, we will assist the parent to provide ongoing care for these children by providing them with ongoing supervision, counselling, and support for the family,” he added.

For CEO of the CPFSA Rosalee Gage-Grey, the agreement is historic, as it marks Jamaica's first model public-private partnership in foster care.

“This concept has been very effective in first-world countries such as Canada, in particular Nairn Family Homes, a premier foster care institution with over 45 years of experience,” she said.

Gage-Grey noted that there are close to 4,500 children in the care of the State. More than 900 of these children are in foster care placement with over 800 foster parents.

“Our aim is to recruit more families to open their homes and hearts. This is what will be achieved through this public-private partnership to drive the recruitment, service delivery, management and treatment programmes for children,” she said.

Kentucky's Historic Legislative Homeless Youth Project: Building On $3 Million HUD Youth Housing Funding, SB 378 Allows 16 Or Older Youth Obtain Counseling Without Parental Consent

A bill that could ease some of the educational burdens facing the 3,000 homeless youth in Kentucky is moving forward.   https://www.whas11.com/article/news/education/legislation-moves-forward-to-help-kentuckys-homeless-teens/417-92d9347f-3da2-4e01-b57a-d0a43df77dae   House Bill 378 was unanimously passed by the House Standing Committee on Education on March 5.  The bill, sponsored by Representatives David Meade (R), Joni Jenkins (D), Joe Graviss (D), and Cherlynn Stevenson (D) has three primary components.  The first part of the bill would provide coursework completion alternatives for homeless children or youth. Rep. Jenkins said that homeless youth tend to be transient and transfer from school to school. These amendments would ensure that students get credit for the work they have done at previous schools.  Jenkins said, "I think it’s so important because we know that youth that have experienced trauma--and so much of our youth have--just face huge hurdles in the rest of their life."  Schools would be able to award and accept credit for all coursework completed by a student while enrolled at another school and allow a student previously enrolled in a course required for graduation the opportunity to complete the course at no cost.  If the student transfers after he or she has completed two years of high school, the bill, if passed would allow students to graduate if they had enough credits to graduate from their previous district, even if they don't have enough to graduate at the district they transferred to.  A student could also be exempt from all coursework that isn't part of the minimum requirement for graduation if they have completed two years of high school and are not eligible to graduate.  The second part of the bill would allow homeless youth under the age of 25 to get their birth certificates at no cost.  The final portion of the bill would allow any child 16 or older to seek counseling from a mental health professional without permission from a parent or guardian. Right now, youth can only get mental health counseling from a physician without parental consent. The bill would expand that coverage to include psychiatrists, psychologists, social worker, or counselor.  If passed, the bill will build on a foundation Louisville has been working on for years. The city was awarded a $3-million grant in 2018 to help end homelessness in young adults in Louisville.  Multiple agencies also worked together to house 100 young adults in 100 days.  "We know we'll have new people coming in, but if we could get that number down to zero from 106 then we would just be in the process of helping new people as they became homeless to get housed," Natalie Harris, the executive director for the Coalition for the Homeless, said.

A bill that could ease some of the educational burdens facing the 3,000 homeless youth in Kentucky is moving forward.

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/education/legislation-moves-forward-to-help-kentuckys-homeless-teens/417-92d9347f-3da2-4e01-b57a-d0a43df77dae

House Bill 378 was unanimously passed by the House Standing Committee on Education on March 5.

The bill, sponsored by Representatives David Meade (R), Joni Jenkins (D), Joe Graviss (D), and Cherlynn Stevenson (D) has three primary components.

The first part of the bill would provide coursework completion alternatives for homeless children or youth. Rep. Jenkins said that homeless youth tend to be transient and transfer from school to school. These amendments would ensure that students get credit for the work they have done at previous schools.

Jenkins said, "I think it’s so important because we know that youth that have experienced trauma--and so much of our youth have--just face huge hurdles in the rest of their life."

Schools would be able to award and accept credit for all coursework completed by a student while enrolled at another school and allow a student previously enrolled in a course required for graduation the opportunity to complete the course at no cost.

If the student transfers after he or she has completed two years of high school, the bill, if passed would allow students to graduate if they had enough credits to graduate from their previous district, even if they don't have enough to graduate at the district they transferred to.

A student could also be exempt from all coursework that isn't part of the minimum requirement for graduation if they have completed two years of high school and are not eligible to graduate.

The second part of the bill would allow homeless youth under the age of 25 to get their birth certificates at no cost.

The final portion of the bill would allow any child 16 or older to seek counseling from a mental health professional without permission from a parent or guardian. Right now, youth can only get mental health counseling from a physician without parental consent. The bill would expand that coverage to include psychiatrists, psychologists, social worker, or counselor.

If passed, the bill will build on a foundation Louisville has been working on for years. The city was awarded a $3-million grant in 2018 to help end homelessness in young adults in Louisville.

Multiple agencies also worked together to house 100 young adults in 100 days.

"We know we'll have new people coming in, but if we could get that number down to zero from 106 then we would just be in the process of helping new people as they became homeless to get housed," Natalie Harris, the executive director for the Coalition for the Homeless, said.

Tompkins County (NY) Nonprofit's Homeless Youth Project: $8.5 Million 23-Unit Housing Complex For 50 Youth, Adjacent Child Care Center For Parenting Youth, Robust Needs Assessment Is Key

Amici House — a permanent housing option for homeless people between the ages of 18 and 25 — opened to the Tompkins County homeless population on Feb. 15 and already has 35 residents for its 23 rooms.   https://cornellsun.com/2019/03/03/with-cornellians-contributions-new-youth-homeless-housing-opens-in-ithaca/   The building is run by Tompkins Community Action, an organization whose mission is to “sustain and improve economic opportunity and social justice for families and individuals impacted directly or indirectly by poverty,” according to the organization’s website.  The initial process of planning Amici House began about five years ago, TCAction executive director Lee Dillon estimated. However, the project was officially proposed to the Tompkins County Legislature in June 2016 and approved by the Planning and Development Board in January 2017.  Dillon said the the first few weeks of occupancy have been going “great” and that many of the residents already know each other “because they’ve all been on the streets together.”  Though Dillon did not know the exact number of residents currently living in Amici House, she said that all four three-person rooms and 19 two-person rooms are occupied and that the maximum capacity would be 50 residents if all the rooms were full, though some are not.  TCAction helps residents with goal-planning, education, employment and childcare while they live in Amici House. The adjacent childcare center — built as part of the same project — will run the Head Start program, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiative dedicated to supporting low-income families.  “We felt that young people will have children and, considering their homelessness, probably don’t have a lot of support from their family and raising their children,” Dillon said. “So we felt that [Head Start] would be very advantageous for the young people at Amici House.”  Through the Head Start program, TCAction provides health screenings, immunizations, education about children’s development and childcare for low-income families. The childcare center, which opened on Sept. 5, is open to the public, though residents of Amici House have priority for open spots, Dillon said.  Several Cornell students and professors have also been involved with TCAction. Jane Powers Ph.D. ’85 and a group of undergraduate students conduct the Independent Living Survey every four years in order to collect data about the homeless youth in Ithaca.  Powers’ team collaborates with The Learning Web, an Ithaca organization focused on youth education, to “gather data to look at the extent of the homeless population in Ithaca,” she said.  The team working on the ILS trains homeless youth to be researchers in the study and to survey the experiences of their peers — other homeless youth in Ithaca. Powers believes this method is a more accurate way of recording youth homelessness than counting the number of people at shelters or other services.  “Methods to count the homeless often underestimate the youth population because they use this point-in-time count methodology,” she said. “Youth are often not connected to services which are designed to serve them because they don’t trust them.”  Dillon said the ILS illustrated the “community need” for homeless youth housing and was instrumental in providing the data needed to gain support for the $8.5 million project, which received most of its funding from New York State grants.  “My fundraising is grant writing. I used all [Powers’] data to get the money to build this … And the funder said ‘This is some of the best demonstrated needs section that I’ve ever seen’ so I have to give Jane and her group credit … for their good work on this,” Dillon said.  The ILS is one part of the Continuum of Care, a coalition of organizations in the area that are dedicated to ending homelessness in Tompkins County.  The CoC uses the Coordinated Assessment system that compiles a list of Tompkins County’s homeless population, which different organizations use to provide support. TCAction used this list to fill vacancies in Amici House and their other supportive housing programs.  “The idea is to serve the most vulnerable household first … I think we could probably fill another building like this instantly, which is sort of sad, but true,” Dillon said.  Amici House provides permanent housing, but Dillon said she estimates residents will move on after about 18 to 24 months.  “The idea is to get on your feet, get healthy, go to school, get a job, get on with your life now that you’ve got some housing. We believe housing is essential for anybody to move forward in their lives,” she said.  TCAction is working on building an emergency shelter for young homeless people in Ithaca, who often do not go to the existing emergency shelters, according to both Powers and Dillon.  “Most young people do not want to go to shelters for a whole variety of reasons. It’s rules, filth, lack of privacy, creepy people, bunk beds on top of each other, things get stolen,” Powers said.  TCAction is working on this new project with Powers and Prof. Gary Evans, design and environmental analysis, and a group of his undergraduate students.  For this project, Powers will conduct focus groups and interviews with homeless youths in Ithaca to “get their ideas on what would be desirable features for … someplace they would go,” she said. Evans and his students will then design the shelter based on that data.  Dillon said she hopes that construction for this space — which is connected to Amici House — will begin in the fall, and take about six months to complete.

Amici House — a permanent housing option for homeless people between the ages of 18 and 25 — opened to the Tompkins County homeless population on Feb. 15 and already has 35 residents for its 23 rooms.

https://cornellsun.com/2019/03/03/with-cornellians-contributions-new-youth-homeless-housing-opens-in-ithaca/

The building is run by Tompkins Community Action, an organization whose mission is to “sustain and improve economic opportunity and social justice for families and individuals impacted directly or indirectly by poverty,” according to the organization’s website.

The initial process of planning Amici House began about five years ago, TCAction executive director Lee Dillon estimated. However, the project was officially proposed to the Tompkins County Legislature in June 2016 and approved by the Planning and Development Board in January 2017.

Dillon said the the first few weeks of occupancy have been going “great” and that many of the residents already know each other “because they’ve all been on the streets together.”

Though Dillon did not know the exact number of residents currently living in Amici House, she said that all four three-person rooms and 19 two-person rooms are occupied and that the maximum capacity would be 50 residents if all the rooms were full, though some are not.

TCAction helps residents with goal-planning, education, employment and childcare while they live in Amici House. The adjacent childcare center — built as part of the same project — will run the Head Start program, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiative dedicated to supporting low-income families.

“We felt that young people will have children and, considering their homelessness, probably don’t have a lot of support from their family and raising their children,” Dillon said. “So we felt that [Head Start] would be very advantageous for the young people at Amici House.”

Through the Head Start program, TCAction provides health screenings, immunizations, education about children’s development and childcare for low-income families. The childcare center, which opened on Sept. 5, is open to the public, though residents of Amici House have priority for open spots, Dillon said.

Several Cornell students and professors have also been involved with TCAction. Jane Powers Ph.D. ’85 and a group of undergraduate students conduct the Independent Living Survey every four years in order to collect data about the homeless youth in Ithaca.

Powers’ team collaborates with The Learning Web, an Ithaca organization focused on youth education, to “gather data to look at the extent of the homeless population in Ithaca,” she said.

The team working on the ILS trains homeless youth to be researchers in the study and to survey the experiences of their peers — other homeless youth in Ithaca. Powers believes this method is a more accurate way of recording youth homelessness than counting the number of people at shelters or other services.

“Methods to count the homeless often underestimate the youth population because they use this point-in-time count methodology,” she said. “Youth are often not connected to services which are designed to serve them because they don’t trust them.”

Dillon said the ILS illustrated the “community need” for homeless youth housing and was instrumental in providing the data needed to gain support for the $8.5 million project, which received most of its funding from New York State grants.

“My fundraising is grant writing. I used all [Powers’] data to get the money to build this … And the funder said ‘This is some of the best demonstrated needs section that I’ve ever seen’ so I have to give Jane and her group credit … for their good work on this,” Dillon said.

The ILS is one part of the Continuum of Care, a coalition of organizations in the area that are dedicated to ending homelessness in Tompkins County.

The CoC uses the Coordinated Assessment system that compiles a list of Tompkins County’s homeless population, which different organizations use to provide support. TCAction used this list to fill vacancies in Amici House and their other supportive housing programs.

“The idea is to serve the most vulnerable household first … I think we could probably fill another building like this instantly, which is sort of sad, but true,” Dillon said.

Amici House provides permanent housing, but Dillon said she estimates residents will move on after about 18 to 24 months.

“The idea is to get on your feet, get healthy, go to school, get a job, get on with your life now that you’ve got some housing. We believe housing is essential for anybody to move forward in their lives,” she said.

TCAction is working on building an emergency shelter for young homeless people in Ithaca, who often do not go to the existing emergency shelters, according to both Powers and Dillon.

“Most young people do not want to go to shelters for a whole variety of reasons. It’s rules, filth, lack of privacy, creepy people, bunk beds on top of each other, things get stolen,” Powers said.

TCAction is working on this new project with Powers and Prof. Gary Evans, design and environmental analysis, and a group of his undergraduate students.

For this project, Powers will conduct focus groups and interviews with homeless youths in Ithaca to “get their ideas on what would be desirable features for … someplace they would go,” she said. Evans and his students will then design the shelter based on that data.

Dillon said she hopes that construction for this space — which is connected to Amici House — will begin in the fall, and take about six months to complete.