Twin Cities homeless youth service providers, in conjunction with a New York nonprofit, have launched an innovative pilot project. The ConneQT Collaborative–the first of its kind in the nation– unites Avenues for Homeless Youth, The Link, RECLAIM!, and Point Source Youth. The Problem: On any given night in the United States nearly 2 million youth are homeless. 40% of those youth identify as LGBTQ. There are limited services for these young people, and of the services that do exist, few work to prevent youth from becoming homeless in the first place. The Goal: The ConneQT Collaborative's goal is to fund, implement, and measure three scalable interventions – Mental Health Support, Short-Term Host Homes, and Rapid Rehousing – to effectively support LGBTQ youth who experience housing uncertainty and help them transition into stability. The collaborative’s work in the Twin Cities will be used to apply these interventions nationwide to 50 cities in 10 years, develop a much needed body of research on effective homelessness prevention for youth, and advocate for massive increases in funding to address this urgent problem. The ConneQT Collaborative will make a meaningful impact on how service providers coordinate their efforts to best support youth across the country.
Read Ryan's essay about creative community responses to youth homelessness here.