- Research shows that students who have experienced homelessness are less likely to graduate high school and less likely to attend secondary level education programs.
- In Minnesota on any given night, more than 6,000 young people, ages 24 and under, are experiencing homelessness. (2018 Wilder Research MN Homeless Study)
- Last year 2,500 Minneapolis Public School Students experienced homelessness.
The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, launched with community partners the new Stable Homes Stable Schools program to address homelessness for families with elementary age students in Minneapolis by connecting them to safe and stable housing and providing life coaching for all members of the family to meet individual needs and to help the families achieve their goals.
Research shows that students who have experienced homelessness are less likely to graduate high school and less likely to attend secondary level education programs. All students are more successful when families have long-term housing, starting from the elementary years. In this time of rising rents and low vacancy rates, it is challenging for low-income families to find affordable housing in Minneapolis. In Minneapolis Public Schools, thousands of students experience homelessness each year.
Stable Homes Stable Schools is a pioneering partnership between the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, the City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, Minneapolis Public Schools, Hennepin County and the Pohlad Family Foundation. Together, this partnership is tackling the issues of homelessness and the achievement gap, simultaneously.
“Safe and stable housing is among the most significant out-of-school factors for predicting student success in school,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO for the Y. “We know that investing in stable housing for young learners is proven to break the cycle of poverty, bringing long-term economic benefits to children, families and our communities. The YMCA could not be more proud to be the nonprofit partner chosen to lead this life-changing impact.”
The goal of the Stable Homes Stable Schools program is to ensure that kids from the top 15 schools in Minneapolis with the highest number of students experiencing homelessness receive the support they need so the children can stay in school and the family’s lives can become stable.
The families referred to the Y benefit from more than just financial assistance as the Y will focus on providing holistic life coaching to the family. The Y will work to remove any barriers in the way of the family becoming stably housed, supporting families with anything from securing vital documents to helping caregivers secure childcare so that they can work.
The program is extremely flexible and allows for support that is specific and unique for each family to help them succeed.
The goal of this program is to serve 320 families, including 650 children, representing 20 percent of the total of students experiencing homelessness in Minneapolis Public Schools, over the next three years.
This program has just begun and has already made significant strides in supporting more than 165 families since April 2019.
Along with the Stable Homes Stable Schools program, the Y team offers additional programs and services that support youth facing barriers including:
- Youth Resource Line is a free resource line for youth and young adults 12-24 who are in need of community resources. YMCA Life Coaches offer referrals to YMCA and community resources based on the young person’s needs. Call 763-493-3052 and leave a message to get connected.
- School, Street and Community-Based Outreach Services provides a connection to YMCA staff who travel to meet youth where they are at and provide short-term life coaching, housing assessments and connections to resources and basic needs.
- Prevention Resources aim to prevent homelessness through life coaching, mediation, family reunification, eviction prevention assistance and connection to other community resources.
- Communities Host Home Program bridges the gap between concerned community members and homeless youth and young adults. Members of the community volunteer to host young people experiencing homelessness. The Y provides life coaching for youth and support for hosts to facilitate transitions, minimize barriers and ensure that youth's goals are set and achieved. For information on becoming a Host Home, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Young Parenting Program provides community-based independent housing and life coaching to young adult parents (and their children) as well as support of the Nurturing Parenting Curriculum and early childhood resources.
- Independent Housing Program works to support young adults experiencing homelessness with independence and stability. Young people continue to receive life coaching services after they are settled into their own apartment, and are supported to set and achieve their life goals.
- Enough. Program provides youth who have experienced sexual exploitation or trafficking, or those at risk of, with life coaching support to holistically heal from trauma and thrive. Not A Number, a national sexual exploitation and trafficking prevention curriculum, is also offered to young people to educate them on risk factors to avoid future youth becoming exploited or trafficked.
Learn about one-of-a-kind Stable Homes Stable Schools program offering housing resources or support and supportive services for families at risk of or experiencing homelessness – Stable Homes Stable Schools
Discover how Desiree and her family found a home through Stable Homes Stable Schools program – Desiree’s Story
Explore innovative programs to help prevent or mitigate homelessness – Stable Homes Stable Schools for Social Media
YMCA Youth Intervention Services offers many additional programs to meet the needs of youth experiencing homelessness, involvement with the juvenile justice or foster care systems, or who are disconnected from their school or community. Among these services is the Youth Resource Line, a free resource available 365 days a year by Y life coaches to assist youth ages 12 to 24 who are in need of community resources: 763-493-3052.
Because the Y is a leading nonprofit committed to helping all young people thrive, financial assistance is available to those in need. With the generous support of community members, the Y ensures that all have the opportunity to participate. To learn more about the Y’s Youth Intervention Services and other youth development programs, please visit ymcamn.org.