Youth Services is excited to announce a new project to end youth homelessness in our community! Three years ago Youth Services staff and clients worked with local and state partners to apply for the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP). Vermont was among 11 other communities in the U.S. chosen to test out intervention that address the complex factors faced by youth and young adults who are without a safe place to call home.
According to Executive Director, Bradbury-Carlin, Youth Services staff and clients had a profound impact on the formation and successful application by Vermont Coalition of Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs to HUD. From serving on state-level committees and work groups, supporting youth to join the state Youth Action Board, to conducting focus groups and analyzing data, Youth Services staff and clients were instrumental in this funding coming to Vermont.
Now officially a host for the federally-funded Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, Youth Services is one of ten organizations implementing projects to prevent and end youth homelessness in Vermont. Youth homelessness is a complex social issue, especially in this state. Vermont’s rurality, which is part of the fabric of our identity, combined with the lack of transportation, youth-friendly vocational opportunities, youth-centered public infrastructure and spotty internet and cell service make it hard for many young people to sustainably transition to independent housing and access resources.
“Through the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project we heard from Vermont youth that they face many challenges that contribute to and perpetuate housing insecurity and homelessness,” stated Bradbury-Carlin. “They described facing stigma because of their age or socioeconomic status, a lack of permanent connections such as trusted non-paid adults that they can fall back on in times of need, challenges finding stable and non-exploitative employment, unsustainable transition plans from foster care and a lack of clarity around how to get help,” he explained. “We’re excited to delve into this project and we definitely have our work cut out for us!”
Youth Services YHDP transitional housing projects will be situated in Bellows Falls and Brattleboro and Rapid Re-housing vouchers will be awarded to youth throughout Windham County.
For more information about support for youth experiencing housing instability or homelessness, to learn about youth homelessness in our community, call (802) 258-0361 or visit our web pages.
See reports below for more details: