London's (UK) First Homeless Youth Emergency Housing Project: $4.1 Million Capital Funding For 30-Bed Housing, City Of London Contributes $1.2 Million, Includes Diversion Program

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has announced it will contribute $2.9 million to the construction of London's first shelter exclusively for homeless youth.   https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/cmhc-contributes-2-9-million-london-youth-shelter-1.5103723?cmp=rss   The announcement was made Thursday morning in London by Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.  "(It's) more than just a safe and supportive place to spend the night, it is a key to a better life for the vulnerable individuals who come here when they have nowhere else to go," said Vaughan is a statement.  The 30-bed shelter will be built by Youth Opportunities Unlimited in the Oxford Street and Clarke Road area.  What that means is the shelter is there to safely put your head down. It will try to make young people, who tend to resist traditional shelters, feel more at ease.  The organization's executive director, Steve Cordes, said it will follow the housing-first principle.  'What that means is the shelter is there to safely put your head down, you've got a safe room, a safe spot to start gathering yourself, but it's [also] all the other supports that go with that, to help you go from that shelter over to permanent housing."  Those supports include a diversion program that will help youth determine whether they actually need to be at the shelter. They'll be asked: "Are there other options for you? Is there family we can help re-connect you with?"  If they do need to be at the facility, Cordes said other supports will help connect them to the community, so that "down the road, they don't need things like shelters anymore."  Why adult shelters are scary for London's homeless youth  Shelter opening to address London's riding youth homeless rate  The project, which started three years ago, has also secured $1.2 million in funding from the City of London, as well as community donations.  Fundraising efforts continue, but Cordes said, if necessary, his organization will help finance the total cost of the facility because of its "dire need".  Construction of the shelter is expected to begin in early June and is slated to open in June, 2020.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has announced it will contribute $2.9 million to the construction of London's first shelter exclusively for homeless youth.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/cmhc-contributes-2-9-million-london-youth-shelter-1.5103723?cmp=rss

The announcement was made Thursday morning in London by Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

"(It's) more than just a safe and supportive place to spend the night, it is a key to a better life for the vulnerable individuals who come here when they have nowhere else to go," said Vaughan is a statement.

The 30-bed shelter will be built by Youth Opportunities Unlimited in the Oxford Street and Clarke Road area.

What that means is the shelter is there to safely put your head down. It will try to make young people, who tend to resist traditional shelters, feel more at ease.

The organization's executive director, Steve Cordes, said it will follow the housing-first principle.

'What that means is the shelter is there to safely put your head down, you've got a safe room, a safe spot to start gathering yourself, but it's [also] all the other supports that go with that, to help you go from that shelter over to permanent housing."

Those supports include a diversion program that will help youth determine whether they actually need to be at the shelter. They'll be asked: "Are there other options for you? Is there family we can help re-connect you with?"

If they do need to be at the facility, Cordes said other supports will help connect them to the community, so that "down the road, they don't need things like shelters anymore."

Why adult shelters are scary for London's homeless youth

Shelter opening to address London's riding youth homeless rate

The project, which started three years ago, has also secured $1.2 million in funding from the City of London, as well as community donations.

Fundraising efforts continue, but Cordes said, if necessary, his organization will help finance the total cost of the facility because of its "dire need".

Construction of the shelter is expected to begin in early June and is slated to open in June, 2020.

San Diego Nonprofit's Homeless Youth Art Project: $186,000 Capital Funding Raise, 1,800 Youth Visitors, 98 Received Permanent Housing, Art & Music Approach Gains Trust & Changes Their Lives

In a scene that has played out a couple of times a week for the past several years, Jeffrey Sitcov approached a young couple sitting on a wall in Ocean Beach on recent Sunday afternoon and made an offer.   https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/homelessness/story/2019-04-14/music-art-program-for-homeless-youth-eyes-expansion   “You’re an artist,” he said to the young woman. “If you come for six classes, you get free art supplies.”  The couple was intrigued.  “You can get a violin, or maybe a ukulele or art supplies,” he continued. “It’s great!”  Sitcov is president of Doors of Change, a nonprofit he founded in 2001 as Photocharity -- rebranded under its new name in 2013 -- to help connect local homeless youth with housing and service.  Through the nonprofit’s Taking Music and Arts to the Streets program founded six years ago, young people are offered free music and art lessons, and even free instruments and supplies if they stick it out, in hopes that they’ll also look into other programs that can lead to housing and overcoming issues that may have led to their homelessness.  Doors of Change focuses on 12 -to 24-year-olds, even younger than the 16-24 year-old group commonly called transitional-age youths. Sitcov refers to the population as invisible, often overlooked and underserved. They may be runaways or just aimless adventurers, and they usually aren’t as easy to spot as homeless adults.  Tyler Daniel, 22, took a flyer from Sitcov and said he might check out the classes happening that afternoon at the Episcopal Church Center on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.  Daniel said he was a traveler, not unlike many homeless youth in the beach community, just passing through and living in his car.  “I feel like it’s more exciting than just living in a house,” he said.  Later that day, he and his female companion did show up at the church, where they found more than a dozen people doing artwork and getting one-on-one instruction in violin, guitar and other instruments.  Sitcov said getting wary young people on the streets to trust an older person who claims to be trying to help can be a challenge, and it takes time. As an incentive, he offers free instruments and art supplies to anyone who comes six times to sessions that are held 3-6 p.m. Sundays at the church. Expressive arts and yoga are offered at the church 3-6 p.m. Thursdays.  The programs had 1,800 visitors last year, and since the nonprofit hired its first full-time case manager 11 months ago, the nonprofit has found work for 37 young people, he said. Another 51 have moved into permanent housing, with about half being reconnected with family members or others through Travelers Aid.  Twelve found housing on their own. Another 35 found emergency shelters at PATH, Father Joe Villages or at San Diego Youth Services’ Take Wing transitional living program.  Sitcov said the program has grown 33 percent over two years, and each month helps an average of three people get addiction treatment, six get mental health treatment and 10 receive food or medical help.  In the wake of a busy year, Sitcov hopes to expand the program even more. He’s applied for $186,000 in Homeless Emergency Air Programs funding, a one-time state grant offered to San Diego and other California cities with large homeless populations. The city of San Diego received $14.1 million in HEAP funds and must allocate at least 5 percent to youth services.  Sitcov said he hopes to expand his program in Oceanside, South Bay or East County through the HEAP funds or other means. In about a month, he said, he’ll announce the Grammy-winning headlining act for what he’s billing as the “Concert to Transform the Lives of Homeless Youth” next January.  On a recent outreach in Ocean Beach, he was joined by Melissa Grove, who runs the Jason Mraz Foundation.  Sitcov said Mraz, who lives in North County, already has been a supporter and helped the nonprofit raise $18,000 by donating and signing three guitars for auction.  After years of doing outreach, Sitcov has picked up a sixth sense of who may be homeless and developed a technique for introducing himself, including a sly way of asking someone his or her age.  “Hi,” he asked a young man doing artwork by the pier. “When you were born?”  After the man said “1994,” Sitcov handed him a flyer with information about the art and music program and said, “Perfect, you can go to this.”  At the church, violin teacher Bill Fish said he volunteers because he sees many homeless people near his home by Balboa Park.  “What I love about this is that it’s a way to connect with young people and help them get off the street,” he said. “We don’t judge them. They know this is a place where they can trust us.”  Elliott Guist, 24, is formerly homeless and said he once lived in a tree in Vista. He discovered the program when he heard about the free meals.  “They didn’t see me coming,” he said. “They said, ‘We can teach you how to use these instruments,’ and I said, ‘I can teach your teachers.’ I was a little testy.”  They didn’t know Guist had been touring the country playing violin as part of a duo, and now he is one of the paid teachers in the program.  While programs that target homeless youth still are relatively few, the issue is getting more attention. Besides money from HEAP, local homeless youth programs will receive $8 million in a special allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  HUD awarded $43 million to 11 areas nationwide as part of its Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, and the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless received the largest single grant of $7.94 million. The task force is expected to announce how the money will be allocated later this month.

In a scene that has played out a couple of times a week for the past several years, Jeffrey Sitcov approached a young couple sitting on a wall in Ocean Beach on recent Sunday afternoon and made an offer.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/homelessness/story/2019-04-14/music-art-program-for-homeless-youth-eyes-expansion

“You’re an artist,” he said to the young woman. “If you come for six classes, you get free art supplies.”

The couple was intrigued.

“You can get a violin, or maybe a ukulele or art supplies,” he continued. “It’s great!”

Sitcov is president of Doors of Change, a nonprofit he founded in 2001 as Photocharity -- rebranded under its new name in 2013 -- to help connect local homeless youth with housing and service.

Through the nonprofit’s Taking Music and Arts to the Streets program founded six years ago, young people are offered free music and art lessons, and even free instruments and supplies if they stick it out, in hopes that they’ll also look into other programs that can lead to housing and overcoming issues that may have led to their homelessness.

Doors of Change focuses on 12 -to 24-year-olds, even younger than the 16-24 year-old group commonly called transitional-age youths. Sitcov refers to the population as invisible, often overlooked and underserved. They may be runaways or just aimless adventurers, and they usually aren’t as easy to spot as homeless adults.

Tyler Daniel, 22, took a flyer from Sitcov and said he might check out the classes happening that afternoon at the Episcopal Church Center on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.

Daniel said he was a traveler, not unlike many homeless youth in the beach community, just passing through and living in his car.

“I feel like it’s more exciting than just living in a house,” he said.

Later that day, he and his female companion did show up at the church, where they found more than a dozen people doing artwork and getting one-on-one instruction in violin, guitar and other instruments.

Sitcov said getting wary young people on the streets to trust an older person who claims to be trying to help can be a challenge, and it takes time. As an incentive, he offers free instruments and art supplies to anyone who comes six times to sessions that are held 3-6 p.m. Sundays at the church. Expressive arts and yoga are offered at the church 3-6 p.m. Thursdays.

The programs had 1,800 visitors last year, and since the nonprofit hired its first full-time case manager 11 months ago, the nonprofit has found work for 37 young people, he said. Another 51 have moved into permanent housing, with about half being reconnected with family members or others through Travelers Aid.

Twelve found housing on their own. Another 35 found emergency shelters at PATH, Father Joe Villages or at San Diego Youth Services’ Take Wing transitional living program.

Sitcov said the program has grown 33 percent over two years, and each month helps an average of three people get addiction treatment, six get mental health treatment and 10 receive food or medical help.

In the wake of a busy year, Sitcov hopes to expand the program even more. He’s applied for $186,000 in Homeless Emergency Air Programs funding, a one-time state grant offered to San Diego and other California cities with large homeless populations. The city of San Diego received $14.1 million in HEAP funds and must allocate at least 5 percent to youth services.

Sitcov said he hopes to expand his program in Oceanside, South Bay or East County through the HEAP funds or other means. In about a month, he said, he’ll announce the Grammy-winning headlining act for what he’s billing as the “Concert to Transform the Lives of Homeless Youth” next January.

On a recent outreach in Ocean Beach, he was joined by Melissa Grove, who runs the Jason Mraz Foundation.

Sitcov said Mraz, who lives in North County, already has been a supporter and helped the nonprofit raise $18,000 by donating and signing three guitars for auction.

After years of doing outreach, Sitcov has picked up a sixth sense of who may be homeless and developed a technique for introducing himself, including a sly way of asking someone his or her age.

“Hi,” he asked a young man doing artwork by the pier. “When you were born?”

After the man said “1994,” Sitcov handed him a flyer with information about the art and music program and said, “Perfect, you can go to this.”

At the church, violin teacher Bill Fish said he volunteers because he sees many homeless people near his home by Balboa Park.

“What I love about this is that it’s a way to connect with young people and help them get off the street,” he said. “We don’t judge them. They know this is a place where they can trust us.”

Elliott Guist, 24, is formerly homeless and said he once lived in a tree in Vista. He discovered the program when he heard about the free meals.

“They didn’t see me coming,” he said. “They said, ‘We can teach you how to use these instruments,’ and I said, ‘I can teach your teachers.’ I was a little testy.”

They didn’t know Guist had been touring the country playing violin as part of a duo, and now he is one of the paid teachers in the program.

While programs that target homeless youth still are relatively few, the issue is getting more attention. Besides money from HEAP, local homeless youth programs will receive $8 million in a special allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HUD awarded $43 million to 11 areas nationwide as part of its Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, and the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless received the largest single grant of $7.94 million. The task force is expected to announce how the money will be allocated later this month.

Cincinnati (OH) Nonprofit's Homeless Youth Project: $840,000 Private Health Foundation Award, Integrated Behavioral Health Services Meet Youth In Their Neighborhoods, Decreasing Waiting Periods

An $840,000 grant from the United Health Foundation will enable Lighthouse Youth & Family Services to expand access to behavioral and physical health services for more than 5,000 transitioning and homeless children and young adults in the Cincinnati area over the next three years.   https://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/newsroom/2019/2019-04-10-uhf-partners-lighthouse.html   The grant enables Lighthouse to operate an Integrated Access Team, including mobile and in-office clinical evaluators who work extended hours and weekends, and are able to meet individuals at a location of their choice. The grant will help Lighthouse increase its clinical and administrative capacity, and provide additional services to more youth in Hamilton, Montgomery and Ross counties in Ohio.  Lighthouse and the United Health Foundation were joined today by Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted in making the announcement and touring the Lighthouse Sheakley Center for Youth.  “Too many children are growing up without the love and support they need to have a hopeful start in life. It is important we provide supportive services to children in need so they have a shot at a healthy, purposeful future,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “Lighthouse is doing a great job supporting at-risk youth, and the involvement of the United Health Foundation provides a new level support for the important work being done here.”  The Integrated Access Team will decrease the time between the initial intake interview and assessment, and the amount of time from assessment to treatment. By housing the behavioral health and physical health services at one facility in the Walnut Hills neighborhood, Lighthouse’s centralized intake and clinical assessment process will ultimately lead to improved outcomes for individuals receiving treatment.  Lighthouse staff will receive specific training to ensure all visits are trauma-informed and youth-focused, and exemplify excellent customer service. Nine additional staff members will be hired over the course of the three-year grant to support the expanded operations.  “Thanks to the United Health Foundation as our partner, we will be able to provide potentially life-changing services for transitioning and homeless youth,” said Paul Haffner, president and CEO, Lighthouse Youth & Family Services. “This grant will help us continue our approach of emphasizing physical, psychological and emotional safety for the people we serve.”  Data on the safety and well-being of young people in southwest Ohio area indicate a substantial need for Lighthouse’s homeless youth services. In 2017, Cincinnati’s Homeless Management Information System reported that 24 percent of homeless people in Hamilton County were under the age of 18, and 35 percent were under the age of 25.  According to Cincinnati’s Youth Data Dashboard, in 2018 there were 598 unduplicated homeless individuals ages 18-24 in Hamilton County, 75 percent of whom were minorities, 8 percent of whom were LGBTQ, and 10 percent of whom were parents of young children. On any given night in 2018, between 63 and 108 children and young adults were unaccompanied (without their family) and experiencing homelessness.  “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Lighthouse to help young people in southwest Ohio access the critical health care services they need to lead healthier lives,” said Heather Cianfrocco, UnitedHealthcare Community & State CEO and United Health Foundation board member.

An $840,000 grant from the United Health Foundation will enable Lighthouse Youth & Family Services to expand access to behavioral and physical health services for more than 5,000 transitioning and homeless children and young adults in the Cincinnati area over the next three years.

https://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/newsroom/2019/2019-04-10-uhf-partners-lighthouse.html

The grant enables Lighthouse to operate an Integrated Access Team, including mobile and in-office clinical evaluators who work extended hours and weekends, and are able to meet individuals at a location of their choice. The grant will help Lighthouse increase its clinical and administrative capacity, and provide additional services to more youth in Hamilton, Montgomery and Ross counties in Ohio.

Lighthouse and the United Health Foundation were joined today by Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted in making the announcement and touring the Lighthouse Sheakley Center for Youth.

“Too many children are growing up without the love and support they need to have a hopeful start in life. It is important we provide supportive services to children in need so they have a shot at a healthy, purposeful future,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “Lighthouse is doing a great job supporting at-risk youth, and the involvement of the United Health Foundation provides a new level support for the important work being done here.”

The Integrated Access Team will decrease the time between the initial intake interview and assessment, and the amount of time from assessment to treatment. By housing the behavioral health and physical health services at one facility in the Walnut Hills neighborhood, Lighthouse’s centralized intake and clinical assessment process will ultimately lead to improved outcomes for individuals receiving treatment.

Lighthouse staff will receive specific training to ensure all visits are trauma-informed and youth-focused, and exemplify excellent customer service. Nine additional staff members will be hired over the course of the three-year grant to support the expanded operations.

“Thanks to the United Health Foundation as our partner, we will be able to provide potentially life-changing services for transitioning and homeless youth,” said Paul Haffner, president and CEO, Lighthouse Youth & Family Services. “This grant will help us continue our approach of emphasizing physical, psychological and emotional safety for the people we serve.”

Data on the safety and well-being of young people in southwest Ohio area indicate a substantial need for Lighthouse’s homeless youth services. In 2017, Cincinnati’s Homeless Management Information System reported that 24 percent of homeless people in Hamilton County were under the age of 18, and 35 percent were under the age of 25.

According to Cincinnati’s Youth Data Dashboard, in 2018 there were 598 unduplicated homeless individuals ages 18-24 in Hamilton County, 75 percent of whom were minorities, 8 percent of whom were LGBTQ, and 10 percent of whom were parents of young children. On any given night in 2018, between 63 and 108 children and young adults were unaccompanied (without their family) and experiencing homelessness.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Lighthouse to help young people in southwest Ohio access the critical health care services they need to lead healthier lives,” said Heather Cianfrocco, UnitedHealthcare Community & State CEO and United Health Foundation board member.

Colorado Nonprofit's Collaborative Homeless Youth Project: $5 Million Federal Award Over 5 Years, Innovative Approach To Mental Health For 16-25 Yr Old Youth, Counselors With Street Outreach Workers

The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) has been awarded the Healthy Transitions: Improving Life Trajectories for Youth and Young Adults with Serious Mental Illness grant totaling $5 million over five years. The project is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).   https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/news/colorado-receives-5-million-enhance-mental-health-services-homeless-youth   With this funding, OBH will contract with Urban Peak in Denver and in Colorado Springs to increase access to treatment and support services for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness who have a serious mental disorder. Urban Peak is the largest provider of services for homeless youth in the SAMHSA region that includes Colorado and was chosen for the grant through a state request for application process.  “OBH is excited to work with both Urban Peak locations to expand outreach, engage youth where they are and get them the services they need to reach long-term success,” said Robert Werthwein, Director of the Office of Behavioral Health.  Urban Peak will subcontract with area mental health providers to increase access to clinically, developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health interventions for youth ages 16-25 experiencing homelessness. The grant includes support for a youth coordinator at OBH with mental health lived experience to help direct the services and outreach.  Three major goals will drive the work over the next five years:  Identify and engage homeless transition-age youth (ages 16-25) suffering from a serious mental disorder and/or co-occurring intellectual developmental disability (IDD) through coordinated outreach.  Promote cross-agency collaboration to increase the number of transition-age youth accessing mental health treatment.  Connect homeless transition-age youth to public benefits, employment and social support and recovery services.  “This grant will be transformational for homeless youth in Colorado,” said Christina Carlson, CEO of Urban Peak. “Providing on-site behavioral health services will allow us to meet the needs of the youth in the moment and build upon Urban Peak’s great work at both our Denver and Colorado Springs locations."

The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) has been awarded the Healthy Transitions: Improving Life Trajectories for Youth and Young Adults with Serious Mental Illness grant totaling $5 million over five years. The project is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/news/colorado-receives-5-million-enhance-mental-health-services-homeless-youth

With this funding, OBH will contract with Urban Peak in Denver and in Colorado Springs to increase access to treatment and support services for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness who have a serious mental disorder. Urban Peak is the largest provider of services for homeless youth in the SAMHSA region that includes Colorado and was chosen for the grant through a state request for application process.

“OBH is excited to work with both Urban Peak locations to expand outreach, engage youth where they are and get them the services they need to reach long-term success,” said Robert Werthwein, Director of the Office of Behavioral Health.

Urban Peak will subcontract with area mental health providers to increase access to clinically, developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health interventions for youth ages 16-25 experiencing homelessness. The grant includes support for a youth coordinator at OBH with mental health lived experience to help direct the services and outreach.

Three major goals will drive the work over the next five years:

Identify and engage homeless transition-age youth (ages 16-25) suffering from a serious mental disorder and/or co-occurring intellectual developmental disability (IDD) through coordinated outreach.

Promote cross-agency collaboration to increase the number of transition-age youth accessing mental health treatment.

Connect homeless transition-age youth to public benefits, employment and social support and recovery services.

“This grant will be transformational for homeless youth in Colorado,” said Christina Carlson, CEO of Urban Peak. “Providing on-site behavioral health services will allow us to meet the needs of the youth in the moment and build upon Urban Peak’s great work at both our Denver and Colorado Springs locations."