Innovative program fills the gap for short-term, stable housing for our city’s youth
Louisville, KY – Thanks to several recent grants, Louisville is one step closer to ending homelessness among young adults in our community. The Coalition for the Homeless has received funding in the amount of $20,000 from [give] 502 (a component fund of the Community Foundation of Louisville), $13,500 from the Gheens Foundation (part of an overall $30,000 grant), and $20,000 from the Community Foundation of Louisville to launch a Host Homes Pilot Project, which invites local families to open their homes to provide safe, temporary housing for young adults ages 18-24 years old as an alternative to living on the streets or in emergency shelter. The program, which will be carried out by Home of the Innocents, will provide homeless young adults with a stable home environment and support services while they navigate the process of finding and securing their own permanent housing or reuniting with family.
“Launching this project will help us move towards the ultimate goal of ending youth homelessness in Louisville by 2020,” says Natalie Harris, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless. “This program fills the gap in short-term, stable housing for young adults, and it has proven very successful in other cities such as Minneapolis. It will double our short-term shelter options for this very vulnerable population and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our work by immediately getting young people off the streets, out of emergency shelter, and into stable housing with support services.”
“Home of the Innocents is thrilled to partner with the Coalition for the Homeless to launch host homes,” says Shannon Derrick, LPCC, Associate Director of Home of the Innocent’s Aftercare Program. “This is a wonderful opportunity for young adults experiencing homelessness to have a safe, supportive place to stay, and for the community to get involved in the work of addressing homelessness by volunteering to be hosts. We are working with other communities across the nation with established and emerging host homes programs to share knowledge and support, and plan to work closely with young adults with lived experience in shaping the development of the program. We feel honored that several philanthropic groups have decided to support this project and that there is already such strong community support.”
Caring, local families are now being recruited to participate in the pilot program. After an extensive screening and training process, families will serve as hosts for up to three months while the young people work with a case manager on a permanent housing solution. Homeless young adults will choose which family they would like to stay with, and the program coordinator will help facilitate a successful match. If the pilot project is successful, the program will be expanded and opened to more families in 2019.
The launch of the Host Homes Pilot Project is building on the success of the Coalition for the Homeless’ participation in the 100-Day Challenge, in which city leaders and two dozen community partners committed to think outside the box, eliminate service barriers, bring all partners to the table, and rally the community to house 100 youth or more within 100 days. The effort launched August 1, 2017 and was successful in housing 115 youth byNovember 9th.
For more information about the Host Homes Pilot Project or how to become a Host Home family, please call Melissa Kratzer at (502) 636-9550 ext. 213, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.louhomeless.org.
About the Coalition for the Homeless
The Coalition for the Homeless, located at 1300 S. 4th Street, Suite 250, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to prevent and eliminate homelessness in Louisville. The Coalition has a three-pronged approach to this mission: advocacy, education, and coordination of their 30+ member agencies who provide a variety of services to the homeless throughout the city. For more information, visit www.louhomeless.org, call (502) 636-9550, or find The Coalition for the Homeless on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/LouHomeless or on Twitter @louhomeless.