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.”
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.