Minneapolis (MN) Nonprofit's Homeless Student Project: City Approves $3.35 Million Pilot Project To House 640 Kids, 66% Of Shelter Population Are Children, Housing & School Partnerships Are Key

When you think about Minnesota’s homeless population, a child might not come to mind, but the reality is there are thousands of kids who are homeless in Minneapolis alone.   http://www.fox9.com/news/-stable-homes-stable-schools-minneapolis-offers-program-for-homeless-youth   Now, a new program aims to get kids and their families into stable living situations. It’s called the “Stable Homes, Stable Schools” initiative.  It’s something Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s office has been working on since last spring.  The goal is to get homeless children attending Minneapolis Public Schools and their families into stable housing by helping pay for their rent and get them back on their feet.  It’s a place homeless families can stop and take a breath.  “We want them to feel like this is a respite in the midst of the chaos they may be experiencing or in the midst of a crisis situation,” said Rinal Ray, of People Serving People.  People Serving People says it is the largest homeless shelter for families in the region, serving around 350 people per night in downtown Minneapolis.  Many of their guests are kids.  “Two-thirds are children and the average age of kids in our shelter is 6,” Ray said.  Ray says everyone has a different story of how they got to People Serving People, but some things are the same.  “A lot of parents try to maintain routines and try to keep things as normal as possible to try to keep a sense of stability,” Ray said.  Part of that stability includes making sure the kids stay in their home schools. Minneapolis Public Schools buses the kids to and from the shelters, but Frey believes there is a more permanent solution.  “Housing is a right,” Frey said. “Everyone deserves that safe place to go home to at the end of the night.”  “Stable Homes, Stable Schools” is a new collaborative effort between the city, Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority and Hennepin County to help homeless families in the school district find affordable housing. Plus, the program will help pay for it.  “That’s about 3,000 students that are experiencing homelessness or severe housing instability,” Frey said. “In the first three years, we have a goal of helping around 320 families and around 640 kids.  Late last week, the Minneapolis City Council approved the money for the pilot program at about $3.35 million a year.  Frey says the families will be chosen from 15 schools with a higher population of homeless students. The families will pay 30 percent and the program will cover the rest and it will keep the kids close to their schools.  “We want to make sure people have that stability from which they can rise and that stability starts with a place to go home to at night,” Frey added.  Each person in the program will have a case manager and wrap around services will be through that person.

When you think about Minnesota’s homeless population, a child might not come to mind, but the reality is there are thousands of kids who are homeless in Minneapolis alone.

http://www.fox9.com/news/-stable-homes-stable-schools-minneapolis-offers-program-for-homeless-youth

Now, a new program aims to get kids and their families into stable living situations. It’s called the “Stable Homes, Stable Schools” initiative.

It’s something Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s office has been working on since last spring.

The goal is to get homeless children attending Minneapolis Public Schools and their families into stable housing by helping pay for their rent and get them back on their feet.

It’s a place homeless families can stop and take a breath.

“We want them to feel like this is a respite in the midst of the chaos they may be experiencing or in the midst of a crisis situation,” said Rinal Ray, of People Serving People.

People Serving People says it is the largest homeless shelter for families in the region, serving around 350 people per night in downtown Minneapolis.

Many of their guests are kids.

“Two-thirds are children and the average age of kids in our shelter is 6,” Ray said.

Ray says everyone has a different story of how they got to People Serving People, but some things are the same.

“A lot of parents try to maintain routines and try to keep things as normal as possible to try to keep a sense of stability,” Ray said.

Part of that stability includes making sure the kids stay in their home schools. Minneapolis Public Schools buses the kids to and from the shelters, but Frey believes there is a more permanent solution.

“Housing is a right,” Frey said. “Everyone deserves that safe place to go home to at the end of the night.”

“Stable Homes, Stable Schools” is a new collaborative effort between the city, Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority and Hennepin County to help homeless families in the school district find affordable housing. Plus, the program will help pay for it.

“That’s about 3,000 students that are experiencing homelessness or severe housing instability,” Frey said. “In the first three years, we have a goal of helping around 320 families and around 640 kids.

Late last week, the Minneapolis City Council approved the money for the pilot program at about $3.35 million a year.

Frey says the families will be chosen from 15 schools with a higher population of homeless students. The families will pay 30 percent and the program will cover the rest and it will keep the kids close to their schools.

“We want to make sure people have that stability from which they can rise and that stability starts with a place to go home to at night,” Frey added.

Each person in the program will have a case manager and wrap around services will be through that person.

San Francisco (CA) City's Homeless Youth Project: Failed Goal Of 400 Youth Housing Units By 2015, Only 188 Housing Units Completed, 67 Under Pre-Construction, 25 Under Construction, Leadership Is Key

San Francisco continues to fall short of a 2015 goal to build hundreds of supportive housing units for transitional age youth and has yet to deliver on a more recent promise to open a Navigation Center for young residents, the Youth Commission highlighted last week.   http://www.sfexaminer.com/city-falling-short-plan-house-homeless-youth-commission-says/   The commission also called for mandatory training of police officers to improve interactions with youth.  The 17-member voter-mandated body, which dates back to 1996, is charged with advising the Board of Supervisors and mayor on spending priorities.  The commission outlined its spending priorities last week to the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee. It noted they were announcing them earlier than usual to have more impact than in previous years.  The commission is calling for funding to close a gap in The City’s failed promise to build 400 units of permanent supportive housing for youth exiting homelessness by 2015. Four years past the goal, only 188 units have been completed while 25 are under construction and 67 are in pre-construction, according to the commission.  The commission said that there are an estimated 1,300 transitional age youth homeless in San Francisco.  Supervisor Rafael Mandelman noted that the commission was “calling out The City on some failures around TAY housing” and that he would work to fund the housing. He noted that the Coalition on Homelessness had asked the board to allocate funding from the recent $185 million “windfall” from returned property tax revenue from the state but “we were not able to come up with the funds.”  The commission also highlighted that while The City had allocated funding last fiscal year for a Navigation Center for TAY that still hasn’t opened.  Supervisor Hillary Ronen recently called attention to the lack of the TAY Navigation Center in a public hearing earlier in this month. In response, Jeff Kositsky, director of the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, had said, “We are very close to having a site.” The idea of opening a TAY Navigation Center dates back to 2016.  “The TAY Navigation Center remains a promise that has not been kept,” Mandelman said. “We are hoping that it will soon be kept.”  In addition to the concerns around housing and shelter, the commission also highlighted the need for mandatory training of Police Officers on how better to interact with youth. Just 25 officers were given this training last fiscal year in a “sporadic” way, but the commission wants to see all officers trained on youth cognitive development and interactions with youth in partnership with Frisco CopWatch and Strategies for Youth.  “We believe that investing in training officers how to interact effectively with children and youth supports the development of positive relationships between youth and officers and strengthens communities,” Strategies for Youth’s website reads.  Supervisor Catherine Stefani expressed interest in the youth training. “That sounds really important and promising,” she said.  “There was already a program implemented in the last year but it only trained 25 officers out of the 2000-plus officers that are in the SPFD,” said Youth Commissioner Nora Hylton. She said that they want an expansion of that program “that can be taught to all SFPD officers.”  Other items the commission is focused on is preparing on bringing before voters in 2020 a measure to allow those aged 16 and over to vote.  City departments must submit two-year budget proposals to the Mayor’s Office by Feb. 21. Mayor London Breed must submit a city budget proposal by June 1 to the Board of Supervisors for review and adoption.

San Francisco continues to fall short of a 2015 goal to build hundreds of supportive housing units for transitional age youth and has yet to deliver on a more recent promise to open a Navigation Center for young residents, the Youth Commission highlighted last week.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/city-falling-short-plan-house-homeless-youth-commission-says/

The commission also called for mandatory training of police officers to improve interactions with youth.

The 17-member voter-mandated body, which dates back to 1996, is charged with advising the Board of Supervisors and mayor on spending priorities.

The commission outlined its spending priorities last week to the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee. It noted they were announcing them earlier than usual to have more impact than in previous years.

The commission is calling for funding to close a gap in The City’s failed promise to build 400 units of permanent supportive housing for youth exiting homelessness by 2015. Four years past the goal, only 188 units have been completed while 25 are under construction and 67 are in pre-construction, according to the commission.

The commission said that there are an estimated 1,300 transitional age youth homeless in San Francisco.

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman noted that the commission was “calling out The City on some failures around TAY housing” and that he would work to fund the housing. He noted that the Coalition on Homelessness had asked the board to allocate funding from the recent $185 million “windfall” from returned property tax revenue from the state but “we were not able to come up with the funds.”

The commission also highlighted that while The City had allocated funding last fiscal year for a Navigation Center for TAY that still hasn’t opened.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen recently called attention to the lack of the TAY Navigation Center in a public hearing earlier in this month. In response, Jeff Kositsky, director of the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, had said, “We are very close to having a site.” The idea of opening a TAY Navigation Center dates back to 2016.

“The TAY Navigation Center remains a promise that has not been kept,” Mandelman said. “We are hoping that it will soon be kept.”

In addition to the concerns around housing and shelter, the commission also highlighted the need for mandatory training of Police Officers on how better to interact with youth. Just 25 officers were given this training last fiscal year in a “sporadic” way, but the commission wants to see all officers trained on youth cognitive development and interactions with youth in partnership with Frisco CopWatch and Strategies for Youth.

“We believe that investing in training officers how to interact effectively with children and youth supports the development of positive relationships between youth and officers and strengthens communities,” Strategies for Youth’s website reads.

Supervisor Catherine Stefani expressed interest in the youth training. “That sounds really important and promising,” she said.

“There was already a program implemented in the last year but it only trained 25 officers out of the 2000-plus officers that are in the SPFD,” said Youth Commissioner Nora Hylton. She said that they want an expansion of that program “that can be taught to all SFPD officers.”

Other items the commission is focused on is preparing on bringing before voters in 2020 a measure to allow those aged 16 and over to vote.

City departments must submit two-year budget proposals to the Mayor’s Office by Feb. 21. Mayor London Breed must submit a city budget proposal by June 1 to the Board of Supervisors for review and adoption.

Baltimore (MD) Nonprofit's Post-Adoption Project: 30,000 Backpacks To Adoptive Families, 477 Adoptive Clients Served, 7,294 Counseling Sessions, Post-Adoptive Services Preventing Youth Homelessness

Students from Open Wings Learning Community spent time Friday at Jockey International helping other children.   http://www.kenoshanews.com/news/local/kids-assemble-backpacks-for-adopted-children/article_a1be962e-85c3-54a8-9382-20d9e2ec92ca.html   Specifically, the students helped assemble backpacks with supplies for families who have adopted children.  Open Wings is a school for “complex learners.” Friday’s service project was one of their field experiences.  The Jockey Being Family National Backpack Program provides newly adopted children with personalized backpacks.  Since 2005, Jockey has distributed more than 30,000 backpacks to adoptive families nationwide.  Jockey has long been a support of adoption and families who adopt children.  Jockey CEO Debra S. Waller was adopted as an infant, and she is the founder of the Jockey Being Family Foundation, which has raised millions to assist families with post-adoption services, training and education.  Jockey has a few high-profile athletes who’ve become ambassadors for the charity. The latest is professional golfer Bubba Watson and his wife Angie, who have two adopted children.

Students from Open Wings Learning Community spent time Friday at Jockey International helping other children.

http://www.kenoshanews.com/news/local/kids-assemble-backpacks-for-adopted-children/article_a1be962e-85c3-54a8-9382-20d9e2ec92ca.html

Specifically, the students helped assemble backpacks with supplies for families who have adopted children.

Open Wings is a school for “complex learners.” Friday’s service project was one of their field experiences.

The Jockey Being Family National Backpack Program provides newly adopted children with personalized backpacks.

Since 2005, Jockey has distributed more than 30,000 backpacks to adoptive families nationwide.

Jockey has long been a support of adoption and families who adopt children.

Jockey CEO Debra S. Waller was adopted as an infant, and she is the founder of the Jockey Being Family Foundation, which has raised millions to assist families with post-adoption services, training and education.

Jockey has a few high-profile athletes who’ve become ambassadors for the charity. The latest is professional golfer Bubba Watson and his wife Angie, who have two adopted children.

Florida's Foster Care Placement Crisis: 19,000 Kids Had 10 Or More Placements, 1,003 Aged Out Of Care In 2018, 41% Who Exited Care Reported Being Homeless, Post-Adoption/ILP Services Required As Well

he goal for the thousands of children in Florida's foster care program is to find forever homes. But a new tracking system developed at the University of Miami shows the dream for many children is short-lived.   https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2019-02-18/childrens-issues/new-program-visualizes-foster-care-placement-instability/a65552-1   Many kids don't even unpack because of the uncertainty over how long they will stay in a foster home - which sometimes can be as little as a few hours. After combing through thousands of youth records at the Florida Department of Children and Families, Robert Latham, associate director of the university’s Youth Law Clinic, mapped the placement path of every child in foster care since 2002.  He found 80 percent of kids met national placement standards for being moved around. But he noticed troubling outcomes for the remaining 20 percent.  "That captured the kind of absurdity of a kid having 35 houses over the course of two years,” Latham said. “Right? I mean, who lives in 35 houses in two years? That's just not OK. "  State officials point out the the tremendous trauma experienced by some children that makes it difficult for them to trust an adult. According to state data, Florida's rate of 4.8 placements per thousand days in foster care comes in just over the national standard of 4.2.  Chris Card is chief of community-based care at Eckerd Connects, which manages child-welfare cases for Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties. He said thanks to federal funding, the state developed a data-tracking system to track touchpoints such as a child's performance in school, problems with parents and other factors to identify red flags.  He said that system has been in place for about twenty years, and Latham's program is just another step forward.  "Kids with some problems are starting to pop up a little bit earlier than the older systems that we’ve had developed, but it's been an ongoing process,” Card said. “I think we've just gotten more sophisticated, a little bit better. And this last rendition is something even better. "  Both Latham and Card agree Florida's foster-care system is overwhelmed and operating on very few resources. Latham said he'd like to see the state dig deeper to track the number of times a child is arrested, involuntarily committed or returns to foster care after adoption.  He said he'd like to see a review panel formed to examine why a child is left bouncing around from home-to-home similar to those formed when a child dies in the system.  "I think if we put that kind of focus and intent on this problem, I think it could really be reduced,” he said. “Again, it's certainly not OK that 19,000 kids have had 10 or more placements. That's not OK. "  Card said the state needs to provide foster families and nonprofits with greater resources and support. And Latham added it also comes down to having more foster families in the system, which he said gives a child better options for making their first placement the last.

he goal for the thousands of children in Florida's foster care program is to find forever homes. But a new tracking system developed at the University of Miami shows the dream for many children is short-lived.

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2019-02-18/childrens-issues/new-program-visualizes-foster-care-placement-instability/a65552-1

Many kids don't even unpack because of the uncertainty over how long they will stay in a foster home - which sometimes can be as little as a few hours. After combing through thousands of youth records at the Florida Department of Children and Families, Robert Latham, associate director of the university’s Youth Law Clinic, mapped the placement path of every child in foster care since 2002.

He found 80 percent of kids met national placement standards for being moved around. But he noticed troubling outcomes for the remaining 20 percent.

"That captured the kind of absurdity of a kid having 35 houses over the course of two years,” Latham said. “Right? I mean, who lives in 35 houses in two years? That's just not OK. "

State officials point out the the tremendous trauma experienced by some children that makes it difficult for them to trust an adult. According to state data, Florida's rate of 4.8 placements per thousand days in foster care comes in just over the national standard of 4.2.

Chris Card is chief of community-based care at Eckerd Connects, which manages child-welfare cases for Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties. He said thanks to federal funding, the state developed a data-tracking system to track touchpoints such as a child's performance in school, problems with parents and other factors to identify red flags.

He said that system has been in place for about twenty years, and Latham's program is just another step forward.

"Kids with some problems are starting to pop up a little bit earlier than the older systems that we’ve had developed, but it's been an ongoing process,” Card said. “I think we've just gotten more sophisticated, a little bit better. And this last rendition is something even better. "

Both Latham and Card agree Florida's foster-care system is overwhelmed and operating on very few resources. Latham said he'd like to see the state dig deeper to track the number of times a child is arrested, involuntarily committed or returns to foster care after adoption.

He said he'd like to see a review panel formed to examine why a child is left bouncing around from home-to-home similar to those formed when a child dies in the system.

"I think if we put that kind of focus and intent on this problem, I think it could really be reduced,” he said. “Again, it's certainly not OK that 19,000 kids have had 10 or more placements. That's not OK. "

Card said the state needs to provide foster families and nonprofits with greater resources and support. And Latham added it also comes down to having more foster families in the system, which he said gives a child better options for making their first placement the last.