Boston (MA) City Government's Homeless Youth Project: Generate $1 Million From Occupancy Excise Taxes, Additional $1 Million To Assist 300-400 Youth, $100,000 To Expand Host Home Sharing Program

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh plans to invest $20.6 million in city funding to support housing efforts - a 45 percent increase from the last year.   https://expo.masslive.com/news/g66l-2019/04/bfdc87c2c88378/5-things-to-know-about-the-housing-investments-in-boston-mayor-marty-walsh-fiscal-year-2020-budget-.html   "Housing affordability remains one of our top priorities in Boston, and I am proud that through our proposed budget we are doubling down on our efforts to create and preserve more affordable housing," Walsh said in a statement.  Here are five ways the mayor's budget, to be announced on Wednesday, will help city residents.  1. The city will seek to raise Boston’s Room Occupancy Local Excise Tax  Following the new state guidelines the city will - pending approval from the Boston City Council - raise the local excise tax by .5 percentage points to 6.5 percent, officials said.  This will capture $5 million in additional funding. The city would use $4 million to create 50 units of permanent supportive housing for residents and $1 million to create pathways for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness, according to the city.  “This is a great opportunity to maximize what the city can do,” said Justin Sterritt, budget director for the city of Boston.  2. $1 million in funding will be used to help the 300 to 400 young people without stable housing in the city  Within the next few weeks, the city will roll out a plan of more than 60 initiatives to help create”more pathways for homeless youth,” officials said.  Right now, 300 to 400 young people are without stable housing. This can mean sleeping on the street, because of lack of access to shelters, or couchsurfing, officials said. Homelessness disproprionately affects LGBTQ kids and youth of color, officials said.  The city will coordinate with the Boston public schools and other resources to identify kids with unstable housing situations before they become homeless, officials said.  3. The Boston Public Library would be given $100,000 to help with outreach among people experiencing homelessness  David Leonard, the president of the Boston Public Library, said libraries have “been a place of service and respite for people dealing with homelessness challenges for many years.”  In 2018, the library hired a dedicated social worker to monitor the area around the main Boston Public Library branch in Copley Square. This led to contact with at least 126 individuals struggling with housing on a monthly basis, Leonard said.  “Clearly there’s a need and its welcome,” he said. With the additional funds, Leonard said the library will look into bringing in more social workers and interns so they can expand to other branches, in particular those in the South End, West End, Field Corner, Upham’s Corner, Dudley Square neighborhoods.  4. An infusion of $100,000 will allow for the expansion of an intergenerational home sharing program  Piloted in the last year, an intergenerational home sharing program that allows the city's younger residents to live in spare bedrooms of elderly residents will go into full force with new funding in the fiscal 2020 budget.  The program allows the city to tap into some of the more than 70,000 spare bedrooms left unused in Boston, officials said. By using a “matching system” the city plans to hire a vendor who would pair 100 young people with 100 elderly residents looking to make some money from renting out a room. The pilot program included eight matches, officials said.  In an effort to keep rent costs low, the renter often offers to do chores - like trash or leaf removal - in exchange for a more affordable monthly cost, officials said.  5. The city will seek to increase the number of inspectors regulating short-term rentals  With an investment of more than $105,000, Boston’s Inspectional Services Department will bring in extra staff to regulate the city’s short-term rentals. These inspectors would work to make sure owners are following regulations. They would also stop properties with outstanding housing, sanitary, building, fire, or zoning-code ordinance from being listed.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh plans to invest $20.6 million in city funding to support housing efforts - a 45 percent increase from the last year.

https://expo.masslive.com/news/g66l-2019/04/bfdc87c2c88378/5-things-to-know-about-the-housing-investments-in-boston-mayor-marty-walsh-fiscal-year-2020-budget-.html

"Housing affordability remains one of our top priorities in Boston, and I am proud that through our proposed budget we are doubling down on our efforts to create and preserve more affordable housing," Walsh said in a statement.

Here are five ways the mayor's budget, to be announced on Wednesday, will help city residents.

1. The city will seek to raise Boston’s Room Occupancy Local Excise Tax

Following the new state guidelines the city will - pending approval from the Boston City Council - raise the local excise tax by .5 percentage points to 6.5 percent, officials said.

This will capture $5 million in additional funding. The city would use $4 million to create 50 units of permanent supportive housing for residents and $1 million to create pathways for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness, according to the city.

“This is a great opportunity to maximize what the city can do,” said Justin Sterritt, budget director for the city of Boston.

2. $1 million in funding will be used to help the 300 to 400 young people without stable housing in the city

Within the next few weeks, the city will roll out a plan of more than 60 initiatives to help create”more pathways for homeless youth,” officials said.

Right now, 300 to 400 young people are without stable housing. This can mean sleeping on the street, because of lack of access to shelters, or couchsurfing, officials said. Homelessness disproprionately affects LGBTQ kids and youth of color, officials said.

The city will coordinate with the Boston public schools and other resources to identify kids with unstable housing situations before they become homeless, officials said.

3. The Boston Public Library would be given $100,000 to help with outreach among people experiencing homelessness

David Leonard, the president of the Boston Public Library, said libraries have “been a place of service and respite for people dealing with homelessness challenges for many years.”

In 2018, the library hired a dedicated social worker to monitor the area around the main Boston Public Library branch in Copley Square. This led to contact with at least 126 individuals struggling with housing on a monthly basis, Leonard said.

“Clearly there’s a need and its welcome,” he said. With the additional funds, Leonard said the library will look into bringing in more social workers and interns so they can expand to other branches, in particular those in the South End, West End, Field Corner, Upham’s Corner, Dudley Square neighborhoods.

4. An infusion of $100,000 will allow for the expansion of an intergenerational home sharing program

Piloted in the last year, an intergenerational home sharing program that allows the city's younger residents to live in spare bedrooms of elderly residents will go into full force with new funding in the fiscal 2020 budget.

The program allows the city to tap into some of the more than 70,000 spare bedrooms left unused in Boston, officials said. By using a “matching system” the city plans to hire a vendor who would pair 100 young people with 100 elderly residents looking to make some money from renting out a room. The pilot program included eight matches, officials said.

In an effort to keep rent costs low, the renter often offers to do chores - like trash or leaf removal - in exchange for a more affordable monthly cost, officials said.

5. The city will seek to increase the number of inspectors regulating short-term rentals

With an investment of more than $105,000, Boston’s Inspectional Services Department will bring in extra staff to regulate the city’s short-term rentals. These inspectors would work to make sure owners are following regulations. They would also stop properties with outstanding housing, sanitary, building, fire, or zoning-code ordinance from being listed.

Washington (DC) Nonprofit's Innovative Foster Care Project: 4-Year $1 Million Funding Award Over 4 Years, Transportation Solutions For Parents During Reunification, On-Demand Rides Via Mobile App

A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization has been selected to lead a four-year pilot project geared toward reuniting parents with children who have been removed from home and placed in foster care.   https://newsok.com/article/5627644/with-transportation-a-major-obstacle-grant-is-aimed-at-helping-families-whose-children-are-in-foster-care   The Arnall Family Foundation said the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) will receive a $1 million "transportation innovation" grant focused on families in Oklahoma County.  Participants will receive help with child visitation, and class, therapy session, and court hearing attendance, the foundation said in a grant announcement.  Services will include on-demand rides and one-on-one mobility coaching for biological parents. Planned and unanticipated trips necessary to fulfill obligations will be scheduled through a custom mobile app.  Foundation President Sue Ann Arnall said CTAA's experience "developing transportation solutions for social service as well as their collaborative approach with local partners made them the clear winner.”  The foundation announced the grant competition last August.  The winning organization gets four years and $1 million to develop a pilot program for improving transportation for parents working toward reunification with their children.  In announcing the competition, Arnall said transportation needs were identified by the United Way of Central Oklahoma as among the top three obstacles facing clients of the organization's partner agencies.

A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization has been selected to lead a four-year pilot project geared toward reuniting parents with children who have been removed from home and placed in foster care.

https://newsok.com/article/5627644/with-transportation-a-major-obstacle-grant-is-aimed-at-helping-families-whose-children-are-in-foster-care

The Arnall Family Foundation said the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) will receive a $1 million "transportation innovation" grant focused on families in Oklahoma County.

Participants will receive help with child visitation, and class, therapy session, and court hearing attendance, the foundation said in a grant announcement.

Services will include on-demand rides and one-on-one mobility coaching for biological parents. Planned and unanticipated trips necessary to fulfill obligations will be scheduled through a custom mobile app.

Foundation President Sue Ann Arnall said CTAA's experience "developing transportation solutions for social service as well as their collaborative approach with local partners made them the clear winner.”

The foundation announced the grant competition last August.

The winning organization gets four years and $1 million to develop a pilot program for improving transportation for parents working toward reunification with their children.

In announcing the competition, Arnall said transportation needs were identified by the United Way of Central Oklahoma as among the top three obstacles facing clients of the organization's partner agencies.

Kansas City (MO) Nonprofit's Global Youth-In-Crisis Initiative: $13.8 Million Economic Impact, 1,835 Churches Connect With Kids In Crisis, Supporting 759 Youth Exiting Foster Care

The State of Arizona and local churches are working together to help keep children out of foster care.  The program is run by CarePortal, an online platform that links "hurting children and families" to attention.   https://www.kgun9.com/news/state/department-of-child-safety-partners-with-churches-to-keep-kids-out-of-foster-care   Caseworkers are assigned to work with families to determine their needs, then bring them to the attention of partner churches to give them a "real time" opportunity to respond.  The Living Word Bible Church is one of 125 churches in Arizona that participates in the program. Cliff Maes, the outreach director at the church, said for their members, it's just another chance to put their faith into action.  Maes said he typically receives emails from caseworkers who work with families in Mesa, where most of their members live.  When he sees a family in need, Maes alerts church members who signed up to get notifications that a family needs help.  Volunteers who sign up to deliver the items coordinate a time with the family to deliver what they need.  Mark Sigelnski a church volunteer is eager to pitch in and help others. "It feels good, it just feels really good," said Sigelnski.  Most of the time, Sigelnski says he doesn't know much about the families, just that they need help.  Maes says the response from the families is amazing. "The kids are ecstatic. Especially if they see a bed coming in. A lot of these kids are sleeping on the floor," said Maes.  The CarePortal program is led by the Arizona Council on Child Safety and Family Empowerment and chaired by Arizona's first lady Angela Ducey.  The families who are eligible to receive help from CarePortal are those with DCS caseworkers assigned help unlicensed foster families.  The CarePortal program helps families with everything from furniture, to clothing, vehicle repair, home repairs, help cleaning in a hoarding environment, and pest control.  Andrew Knight, with DCS, says it was always amazing to see how quickly communities came together to answer a call for help. "We want to keep kids in the home whenever possible," said Knight.  "We can solve the foster problem if we all come together as one," said Maes.

The State of Arizona and local churches are working together to help keep children out of foster care.

The program is run by CarePortal, an online platform that links "hurting children and families" to attention.

https://www.kgun9.com/news/state/department-of-child-safety-partners-with-churches-to-keep-kids-out-of-foster-care

Caseworkers are assigned to work with families to determine their needs, then bring them to the attention of partner churches to give them a "real time" opportunity to respond.

The Living Word Bible Church is one of 125 churches in Arizona that participates in the program. Cliff Maes, the outreach director at the church, said for their members, it's just another chance to put their faith into action.

Maes said he typically receives emails from caseworkers who work with families in Mesa, where most of their members live.

When he sees a family in need, Maes alerts church members who signed up to get notifications that a family needs help.

Volunteers who sign up to deliver the items coordinate a time with the family to deliver what they need.

Mark Sigelnski a church volunteer is eager to pitch in and help others. "It feels good, it just feels really good," said Sigelnski.

Most of the time, Sigelnski says he doesn't know much about the families, just that they need help.

Maes says the response from the families is amazing. "The kids are ecstatic. Especially if they see a bed coming in. A lot of these kids are sleeping on the floor," said Maes.

The CarePortal program is led by the Arizona Council on Child Safety and Family Empowerment and chaired by Arizona's first lady Angela Ducey.

The families who are eligible to receive help from CarePortal are those with DCS caseworkers assigned help unlicensed foster families.

The CarePortal program helps families with everything from furniture, to clothing, vehicle repair, home repairs, help cleaning in a hoarding environment, and pest control.

Andrew Knight, with DCS, says it was always amazing to see how quickly communities came together to answer a call for help. "We want to keep kids in the home whenever possible," said Knight.

"We can solve the foster problem if we all come together as one," said Maes.

King County (WA) Nonprofit's New Housing Partnership: 15 Young Adults & Emergency Housing Stabilization For 12 Youth, Including Navigation Center With Supportive Services, Shared Vision Is Key

The YMCA of Greater Seattle's Accelerator branch and Nexus Youth and Families have partnered to build a new facility in Auburn that addresses youth and young adult homelessness. The announcement comes in the wake of an ever-growing discussion on homelessness, and expands the reach of services in the South King County area.   https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ymca-and-nexus-youth-and-families-join-forces-to-open-new-housing-for-homeless-youth-in-auburn-300824144.html   The new facility, named New Arcadia, will house 15 young adults and provide emergency shelter for 12 more. The housing portion will include storage space and common areas, a community kitchen, office and conference spaces, and a drop-in center during the day.   The Nexus Youth and Families Board of Directors approached the Accelerator Y, the social services branch of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, about this opportunity due to the Y's excellent reputation, longstanding presence in South King County and mission alignment.  "By partnering to open the New Arcadia, we will be able to leverage the strengths and expertise of both organizations to make, real, impactful change for young people experiencing homelessness in South King County," said Mark Putnam, Executive Director for Accelerator Y.  Accelerator Y is the largest provider of housing for young people in King County. Nearly 40 percent of the people served by Accelerator live in South King County. Their services include housing, education resources, employment opportunities, family support, behavioral health services, youth violence prevention, foster care and Host Homes – a spare room connection program.  "We share a common mission," said Michael Jackson, Interim Executive Director of Nexus Youth and Families. "At our core, we are focused on caring for youth, and in this spirit we wanted to bring in a bigger team to support new efforts."  For over four decades, Nexus Youth and Families has been the leading provider of shelter, housing and behavioral health services to youth and families experiencing homelessness and other trauma in South King County. They operate street outreach, shelters, around-the-clock care, case management and housing for kids and young adults ranging from 12 to 24 years old.  Nexus Youth and Families will be responsible for the oversight and operations of the shelter, and Accelerator Y will be responsible for the oversight and operations of the housing and drop-in center.  Learn more about the YMCA of Greater Seattle's Accelerator branch by visiting https://www.seattleymca.org/accelerator.  Learn more about Nexus Youth and Family by visiting https://www.nexus4kids.org/.

The YMCA of Greater Seattle's Accelerator branch and Nexus Youth and Families have partnered to build a new facility in Auburn that addresses youth and young adult homelessness. The announcement comes in the wake of an ever-growing discussion on homelessness, and expands the reach of services in the South King County area.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ymca-and-nexus-youth-and-families-join-forces-to-open-new-housing-for-homeless-youth-in-auburn-300824144.html

The new facility, named New Arcadia, will house 15 young adults and provide emergency shelter for 12 more. The housing portion will include storage space and common areas, a community kitchen, office and conference spaces, and a drop-in center during the day.

The Nexus Youth and Families Board of Directors approached the Accelerator Y, the social services branch of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, about this opportunity due to the Y's excellent reputation, longstanding presence in South King County and mission alignment.

"By partnering to open the New Arcadia, we will be able to leverage the strengths and expertise of both organizations to make, real, impactful change for young people experiencing homelessness in South King County," said Mark Putnam, Executive Director for Accelerator Y.

Accelerator Y is the largest provider of housing for young people in King County. Nearly 40 percent of the people served by Accelerator live in South King County. Their services include housing, education resources, employment opportunities, family support, behavioral health services, youth violence prevention, foster care and Host Homes – a spare room connection program.

"We share a common mission," said Michael Jackson, Interim Executive Director of Nexus Youth and Families. "At our core, we are focused on caring for youth, and in this spirit we wanted to bring in a bigger team to support new efforts."

For over four decades, Nexus Youth and Families has been the leading provider of shelter, housing and behavioral health services to youth and families experiencing homelessness and other trauma in South King County. They operate street outreach, shelters, around-the-clock care, case management and housing for kids and young adults ranging from 12 to 24 years old.

Nexus Youth and Families will be responsible for the oversight and operations of the shelter, and Accelerator Y will be responsible for the oversight and operations of the housing and drop-in center.

Learn more about the YMCA of Greater Seattle's Accelerator branch by visiting https://www.seattleymca.org/accelerator.

Learn more about Nexus Youth and Family by visiting https://www.nexus4kids.org/.