46 percent of homeless people in Minnesota are age 21 and younger

When we work with young people, we use these principles to guide our work:

  • A strengths-based approach that builds on the talents of each youth
  • A non-judgmental approach that meets youth where they are—regardless of background, experience, choices or behaviors
  • A trauma-informed approach for our relationships, responses and services—recognizing that many youth have experienced trauma
  • Empowerment for youth to make choices that will positively impact the future
  • Opportunities for youth to recognize and seek their potential
  • Families have an impact in young peoples’ lives
  • Community partnerships are valuable
  • Core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility

Guiding Principles

  • We utilize a strengths-based approach, building on the innate assets of each young person and partnering with them for success.
  • We use a non-judgmental approach and meet youth where they are at. We interact with youth without labeling or judging them on the basis of backgrounds, experience, choices, or behaviors.  
  • We recognize that many youth facing barriers have experienced trauma and our relationships, responses, and services are based on a trauma-informed approach.
  • We empower youth to make choices that will positively affect their future and provide youth opportunities to recognize and seek their potential.
  • We consider and recognize the impact that families have in young peoples’ lives.  
  • We immerse ourselves in our communities to stay informed of relevant issues and leverage partnerships to deliver sustainable value to the communities we serve.
  • We instill the four YMCA core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility in all components of our work.


On any given night in Minnesota, over 4,000 youth are homeless, with less than 100 youth shelter beds available