Number and Rate of Disconnected Youth Increases in Louisville




Measure of America’s latest report, More Than a Million Reasons for Hope: Youth Disconnection in America Today, updates disconnected youth estimates for the country as a whole, for states, counties, and metro areas, and by gender and race and ethnicity. The report finds that the youth disconnection rate declined in the United States for the sixth year in a row, reaching a low of 11.7 percent in 2016.

However, the disconnection rate in Louisville/Jefferson County has increased from 10.9% (15,200 young people) in 2015 to 13.4% (18,800 young people) in 2016. Disconnection rates vary by gender and race:
  • 13.4% of all youth/young adults are out of school and work
  • 13.9% of male youth/young adults are out of school and work
  • 12.8% of female youth/young adults are out of school and work
  • 27.7% of Black youth/young adults are out of school and work
  • 10.5% of White youth/young adults are out of school and work

Disconnected—or opportunity—youth are young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither working nor in school. This report is the first in Measure of America’s disconnected youth series to compare American and European metro areas, or to examine disconnection by different group characteristics such as motherhood, marriage status, disability, English proficiency, citizenship, educational attainment, institutionalization, and household composition.

Other key findings include:

  • A chasm of nearly 20 percentage points separates the disconnection rates of racial and ethnic groups.
  • An alarmingly high share of disconnected black boys and young men—nearly a fifth—is institutionalized, compared to just 0.3 percent of the overall population in that age group.
  • Disconnected young people are about two-and-a-half times as likely to be living family other than parents, about twice as likely to be living with a roommate, and eight times as likely to be living alone.

To learn more about these and other findings, see the full report. The most recent data on disconnected youth can also be found in our interactive tool.

Louisville Metro Community Centers

Louisville Metro operates 18 community centers, each offering a variety of amenities. Check out the services and programs at each location:

Berrytown (Home of Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation)
Camp Edwards
Cyril Allgeier
Flaget Senior Center
Shelby Park
Metro Arts Center
Molly Leonard Portland
Shawnee Arts & Cultural
Sun Valley
South Louisville
Wilderness Road Senior Center

National Youth Violence Prevention Week

Louisville Metro and dozens of community organizations and classrooms will be observing National Youth Violence Prevention WeekMarch 19th to March 23rd.

“The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness and to educate students, teachers, school administrators, counselors, school resource officers, school staff, parents, and the public on effective ways to prevent or reduce youth Violence. This week long national education initiative will involve activities that demonstrate the positive role young people can have in making their school and community safer.”

Everyone is invited to participate in this week to take a city-wide stand against youth violence and to elevate the many solutions to this challenge. Three easy steps to get involved:

  1. Review the NYVPW-ActionKit   and select from any of the suggested activities, develop your own activity during the week, or if you already have something going on that week, lift it up and connect it with #NYVPW, #LouYVPW.
  2. Use (and help get trending) the hashtag’s #LouYVPW and #NYVPW during that week for social media posts.
  3. Metro United Way has graciously agreed to host an on-line portal where everyone can also list their activities for #NYVPW. Use and share this link so that anyone who is participating can have their activity captured.

This is an exciting opportunity to lift up Louisville and to take a stand against violence.  For more information or support to participate during the week of March 19, contact the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.

Drop in Services: Youth Engagement and Support (YES)

The Youth Engagement and Support (YES) project is a collaboration of the University of Kentucky and the YMCA Safe Place Services. The project’s goal is to increase the number of critical life skills young adults in Louisville possess to become more self-sufficient. We are primarily focusing on young adults 18-24 who are or have been homeless, unstably housed, or involved in the foster care and DJJ system.

We will offer hour long life skill classes:

Tuesday 4:00p-5:00p
Wednesday 11:00a-12:00p and 4:00p-5:00p
Thursday 11:00a-12:00p

Classes are organized in courses but can be taken as individual topics. Courses and topics include but are not limited to:

Workplace Readiness: Getting the Job
• Meaningful Employment
• Networking and Job Searches
• Resumes and Applications
• The Interview
• Getting Hired

Workplace Success: Keeping the Job
• Strengths, Stress, and Self Care
• Professionalism and Work Ethic
• Team Work
• Conflict Management
• Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

Communication 101
• Listening and Body Language
• Speaking and Making a Request
• Conflict Resolution
• Managing Your Emotions

• Budgeting
• Banking
• Bills
• Taxes
• Understanding Your Credit
• Web of Support
• Time Management
• Voting & Politics
• Responsibility isn’t a dirty word
• Organization and Cleaning

Classes will be held in the Youth Development Center at 2400 Crittenden Drive. The Center will open one hour before class. Showers and laundry room will be open at this time. Meals will be provided except for Wednesday evening.

We are located on TARC lines 2, 18, and 29.

For more information or a monthly schedule please contact Corbin Hannah at 502.635.4402 or find us on Facebook @lville.adulting or Safe Place Youth Development.

Boys Haven Equine Program


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At Boys and Girls Haven the barn is not only a place for animals but a learning and living classroom. Foster  youth and young adults (ages 16-24) can learn career readiness skills and practice vocational skills in a safe and secure setting. The Equine Vocational Training Program uses the horses and facility to help develop vocational training for abused and neglected youth and young adults who are disconnected in the community. The program utilizes horses, other animals, and barn management as a tool for helping youth develop vocational skills.  The Junior Achievement Curriculum, Personal Success is used to prepare students to be college and career ready. The program integrates the curriculum from JA to insure coverage of all skills needed to be successful in finding employment and keeping employment.  Life skills that are needed to gain and maintain employment are also focused on throughout the program. Equine assisted learning is used to help integrate skills they learn in the classroom and applies them to real life and work situations. Our goal is to help foster youth and disconnected and homeless young adults gain the skills and self-confidence to succeed in the workplace and in life. A CDBG and EAF grant with the City of Louisville makes it possible for us to provide this very needed service in our community. For more information, contact Jeannette Stratton at or 502-458-1171 extension 113.

Youth Voice Report

Throughout 2017, the Coalition Supporting Young Adults has conducted research on the needs and goals of Louisville’s disconnected youth and young adults, as they describe them. More than 200 young people shared their stories, hopes and challenges in discussion groups, surveys and interviews. On Jan 8, 2018, CSYA will host a community conversation about the study’s results and the collective actions we can take to support them. We hope you’ll join us. Learn more…



Louisville Houses 115 Homeless Youth and Young Adults in 100 Days

November 8, 2017 – A team of partners, led by the Coalition for the Homeless, completed a 100-Day Challenge to accelerate efforts to end youth homelessness. This work was made possible through funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and private philanthropic partners. Rapid Results Institute (RRI) and HomeBase will offer technical support to the team, as they strive to meet their goals. 

A 100-Day Challenge is a project where a community decides together on an incredibly ambitious goal: to end experiences of homelessness for a large number of young people in their community. With just 100 days to meet their goal, everyone from community leaders down to front-line workers are invited to do their work differently, change systems and innovate. In order to make great strides, communities must take on great challenges. The limited timeframe, the high-profile effort, and the intensive support from RRI results in communities progressing on three major tasks: problem solving, innovation, and partnership-building. 

The Coalition for the Homeless’s work to understand youth homelessness, launched initially in 2013, soon led to the creation of the Coalition Supporting Young Adults (CSYA) and a community mapping of existing resources for homeless youth, including youth shelter; drop in centers; and education, employment and housing opportunities. This mapping process enabled CSYA and the community to identify gaps and potential opportunities to re-allocate existing resources. The collaborative work of CSYA has already supported the development of new resources including two new drop-in centers, a community-wide plan to reengage out of school youth and a professional development program to train a cohort of “connectors” who can quickly link homeless and disconnected youth. In addition to CSYA, a Youth Advisory Board, an Education/Employment Collaborative, and a Homeless Youth Committee consisting of 41 community leaders have also all been formed. These entities will be crucial as Louisville continues to address youth homelessness during the 100-Day Challenge.

“Our plan and implementation must not only address the housing needs of approximately 868 youth, but also create preventive solutions to keep the large number of precariously housed youth counted by JCPS not only out of the shelters, but in a safe setting that allows them to thrive,” says Natalie Harris, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless in Louisville. “One of our main focuses will be in creating transitional and rapid rehousing programs integrated with education and employment.”

Coalition for the Homeless

About the Coalition for the Homeless

The Coalition for the Homeless, located at 1300 S. 4th Street, Suite 250, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to prevent and eliminate homelessness in Louisville. The Coalition has a three-pronged approach to this mission: advocacy, education, and coordination of their 31 member agencies that provide a variety of services to the homeless throughout the city. To learn more about how to support this work, become a mentor or hire a young person, go to Coalition for the Homeless website or Facebook page

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