To prevent and solve youth homelessness in America, communities must work together on multi-sector strategies to decrease both the incidence and consequences of youth homelessness. NN4Y is leading and expanding this important collaborative work in communities across the country.
A comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes of homelessness for young people is essential to achieve lasting and sustainable progress. NN4Y provides support to communities to create Local Cross-System Collaboratives (LCSC) to address the root causes of homelessness among young people by advancing innovative, long-term solutions through multi-pronged and multi-level collaborative community work. These cross-system collaboratives improve systems and direct services to youth at-risk of and experiencing homelessness in their community by bringing together a broad range of stakeholders and assisting them in leveraging their strengths to increase effectiveness.
NN4Y brings considerable resources to each community it collaborates with, but success comes from the hard work of each LCSC member. Each community determines its own goals to ensure that all members are lending their strengths to the same ends, and that these goals are based on each community’s unique needs and resources.
WHAT NN4Y PROVIDES
NN4Y, through our Director of Community Strategies, provides guidance, resources, and training and technical assistance that supports the hard work of each Local Cross-System Collaborative:
- Assist each community in bringing together a broad coalition of community stakeholders to create a LCSC that includes young people who have experienced homelessness, government agencies, service providers, philanthropy and more.
- Assist each community in assessing its current capacity and shortcomings.
- Help each local collaborative develop a shared vision and annual action plan that includes strategic goals which are based on local needs and priorities.
- Coordinate the delivery of virtual and onsite training and technical assistance from the NN4Y team and other national experts:
- NN4Y’s policy team provides trainings around effective advocacy strategies and assistance in creating and implementing local and/or state advocacy agendas;
- NN4Y’s Director of Youth Partnerships provides trainings and assistance about how best to partner with young people with the lived-experience of homelessness; and
- National experts are brought in to communities to provide trainings and assistance in areas that are of a particular challenge to the community, including juvenile justice, legal services, education, employment, and more.
- Regularly assess progress/work towards collaborative sustainability.
- Manage a national network of LCSCs for the purpose of peer-to-peer learning where LCSCs learn from each other, share challenges, success, and receive trainings.
IS YOUR COMMUNITY READY?
Thriving collaboratives need to be sustainable and ultimately largely self-directed in order to do the hard work of changing systems and community collaboration. To support long-term and lasting impacts, we are looking for communities that are committed to this work over the long-term. We partner with communities that are:
- Poised to bring together a broad group of stakeholders that will have a high level of engagement and are willing to do things differently.
- Already authentically supporting the leadership of young people with the lived experience of homelessness in the community, or that are willing to do so.
- Willing to make commitments to collaborate together for the long-term, and to engage new stakeholders over time.
- Led by strong community leaders who are not self-interested, but center their work around the needs of young people, as identified by young leaders with lived experience.
- Willing to redirect existing resources if that is what the LCSC determines is needed to achieve the community’s strategic plan.
- Willing to engage with the media, public and policymakers to raise awareness about the issue of youth homelessness broadly, and the work of the LCSC specifically.
- Willing to be part of a peer-learning network to share with and learn from the work of other LCSCs.
- Willing to work with systems that frequently serve youth experiencing homelessness (education, child welfare and juvenile/criminal justice).
WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE
With local commitment, hard work, and the resources NN4Y brings to each community, strong collaboratives are being established that work effectively to reduce both the incidence and prevalence of youth and young adult homelessness in their community.
A SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY ESTABLISHES:
- A diverse and broad group of stakeholders working together to reduce the incidence and prevalence of youth and young adult homelessness in their community. This group will include: service providers, public schools, post-secondary institutions, advocates, attorneys, employment, child welfare, community foundations, and young people themselves as co-leaders.
- A community-wide strategic plan to address immediate needs, medium-term approaches, and systemic policy and practice changes needed to achieve long-term solutions for young people at-risk of and experiencing homelessness in their community.
- Strong and united leadership that seeks to authentically increase collaboration, leverage each entity’s strengths, and unite in their shared strategic advocacy.
THE RESULTS OF HARD WORK ARE:
- Deep and sustainable improvements in local and statewide policy/practice.
- Tangible benefits for youth, such as increased/improved housing, better employment/education outcomes, and basic needs met.
- Lower incidence and severity of youth homelessness in the community. Such as that measured by the number of young people who are able to access services, return to housing quickly, and remain housed.
- Improved outcomes for youth in educational completion, employment stability, and reductions in law enforcement encounters and detention.