One topic that we often don’t focus on often enough is talking about incredibly vulnerable people, especially homeless youth. This is a hard topic to cover. Teenagers who are homeless often ran away from bad home situations or have aged out of foster care. Therefore, many of these young people are left without resources. You see, homelessness itself creates many barriers, but for teenagers it can be even worse. That’s why Initiatives and programs focused on helping homeless teens are so important. And, that’s why it’s crucial that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded a $1.4 million grant to a coalition of nonprofits in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
And it’s a good place to note that we do have a grant listed on GrantWatch for Washington Nonprofits, Schools Districts, and Tribes to Address the Needs of Youth Who Are Homeless During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
HUD Grant Will Fund Services Aimed at Helping Homeless Youth
According to the Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration, there is 1.7 million homeless youth under the age of 18. Additionally, there is even more homeless youth between 18 and 25 years of age struggling with all types of difficult issues with no help. Some issues that disproportionately impact homeless youth include:
- Being in a gang.
- Using heroin.
- Feeling depressed.
- Attempting suicide.
- Experiencing trauma and violence.
- Food insecurity.
- Not being able to receive an education.
These grant funds will focus on two new services for homeless youth. First, funding will go towards a new day resource center, and second, for an emergency shelter for runaways and homeless youth. Both of these services are first-of-their-kind in the area and will help to provide much-needed services for these youths. The goal is to address a gap in resources, and the center will serve both youths and adults struggling with housing insecurity.
Staff will be on-hand full-time at the resource center to connect people with community programs including:
- Homelessness prevention.
- Wellness services.
- Nutritional assistance,.
- Addiction treatment.
- Case management.
- An overnight shelter.
- Runaway and homeless youth services.
The runaway and homeless youth emergency shelter will help these teens with necessities and emergencies. Plus, the shelter will provide twenty-four-hour crisis intervention and provide teens with necessities, like food, clothing, hygiene products, and medical care. Most importantly, the shelter will also give these kids a place to say while figuring out a more permanent situation.
Some of the nonprofits partnering on this project to help homeless youth are:
- YWCA La Crosse.
- Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge (BLACK).
- Catholic Charities.
- CIA SIAB Inc.
- Family & Children’s Center.
- Independent Living Resources.
- The Salvation Army of La Crosse County.
- The Center: 7Rivers LGBTQ Connection.
GrantWatch Hopes to See More Projects That Help to Mitigate Homelessness
Hearing stories about projects like this is heartening, but there is still so much more work left to do. While $1.7 million children under the age of 18 are experiencing homelessness, an additional 3.5 million young adults aged 18-25 are also struggling. Many of those young people not only don’t have permanent housing, but they also may not have any shelter. Some may sleep in their cars or outside on the street. And, young adults who age out of foster care are at even higher risk.
One of my favorite initiatives from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development was a program that focused on providing transitory housing to those youths. It’s called Foster Youth to Independence. And, this program offers housing vouchers to local public housing authorities to prevent or mitigate homeless for youths under the age of 25. This program came about as a result of advocacy groups that represent young people formerly in foster care meeting with former HUD Secretary, Ben Carson.
We do have a grant category on Grantwatch for Youth-related grants. Our incredible support-team is available to answer any questions regarding this grant category or any others on our site. Feel free to reach out to our team members by calling 561-249-4129.