What You Don’t Know About Family and Youth Homelessness Can Hurt: The 2012 National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference

6th Annual Edmonton Homelessness Memorial Service

6th Annual Edmonton Homelessness Memorial Service (Photo credit: dave.cournoyer)

Last week Housing 1000 sent our Americorps VISTA member, Katherine, to volunteer at this year’s National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference. She met some other awesome volunteers there, including Christina with Ascencia , Nicole with the Fresno Housing Authority and Dores with La Puente. Thanks to all the volunteers for organizing this great conference! We hear La Puente has a couple Americorps volunteers of its own…aren’t they great? 😉

The theme of the conference this year was Ending Family and Youth Homelessness. You may not realize it, but families and youth can be chronically homeless as well—it’s not all individuals and seniors. The plight of chronically homeless youth is especially heartbreaking because a year of homelessness before age 18 is a lot “longer” than later in life—that is, it’s way more disruptive developmentally. A year of wages and health stability lost for a mature 40-something may be very detrimental, but a year of social isolation and stigma as a teenager can be scarring.

English: A homeless man in New York with the A...

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We at Housing 1000 believe that all players in the fight to end homelessness need to work together to achieve our goal. It’s clear that service providers who work with the chronic homeless need to collaborate with those assisting veterans—who in turn must work with providers helping the mentally ill, as well as families and youth. Populations necessarily overlap. And the more we can help stabilize desperately ill chronically homeless individuals, the more resources we as a nation will have to assist other populations. The faces of homelessness are diverse, and we need to use equally diverse strategies to put an end to it.

That’s why we at Housing 1000, along with the national 100,000 Homes Campaign, are reaching out to providers who help youth and families; we know we’re just one part of the greater struggle to end homelessness in America.

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About K.A. Erickson

I worked with Housing 1000 (http://www.housing1000sv.org/) from August 2011 until July of 2012 as an Americorps VISTA member. I am the ghost of Katherine past! I wrote a couple interviews to post automatically even after I left--from beyond the grave, as it were. ;) My current blog talks about fiction writing, world travel and other adventures: http://feistynotes.wordpress.com/
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4 Responses to What You Don’t Know About Family and Youth Homelessness Can Hurt: The 2012 National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference

  1. Pingback: Interview with Jon Talbert, Pastor with WestGate Church | Housing 1000 Official Blog

  2. sparkyharlan says:

    Bill Wilson Center has been working with homeless youth and young homeless families in Santa Clara County since 1977. Responding to the Federal Plan to end youth and family homelessness by 2020 we are joining with homeless family service providers to begin the effort to end youth and family homelessness in our area. We invite leaders to join our facebook page, “ending youth and family homelessness in Santa Clara County”, as we begin developing the structure we will use to bring everyone together on this issue.

  3. sparkyharlan says:

    Bill Wilson Center provides housing, counseling, case management, and support services to homeless youth and young families. We are now leading an effort (along with leaders of homeless family services) to end youth and family homelessness in Santa Clara County. To include all leaders in this effort, we have set up a Facebook page’ “Ending Youth and Family Homeless in Santa Clara County”. We plan to start by using social media to bring all interested leaders together to begin the dialogue around the issue. The next step will be building the collaborative structure for addressing the issue. This isn’t about one program or one service type — it is about educating ourselves as a community and developing the best plan for our youth and families. We will also be establishing a second Facebook page for everyone interested in learning about youth and family homelessness. Please join us!!

  4. sparkyharlan says:

    Reblogged this on CEO of Bill Wilson Center and commented:
    Bill Wilson Center is taking the lead on ending youth homelessness in Santa Clara County.

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