Youth Engagement Team Initiative (YETI) Report
December 2016 Edition
Recent Youth News & Updates
Ending homelessness among youth and young adults is a collaborative effort. The initiatives to end veteran homelessness and chronic homelessness have proved the effectiveness of working beyond the silos of our organization and region to build partnerships with service providers, government agencies, and local organizations. In addition, the greater community is a key source of influential advocates, capable volunteers, and potential connections.
Carissa Conway, Director of Prevention and Intervention Services at the Women and Families Center in the Meriden, Middlesex, and Wallingford region, held an event to commemorate National Runaway Prevention Month with Project REACH (Reaching Every Adolescent to Create Hope). Project REACH provides emergency housing, street outreach, case management and a menu of other services to runaway, homeless and at risk youth.
The event included speakers from the local church, first hand accounts from service providers as well as previously homeless and runaway youth and young adults. Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew thanked Project REACH providers for their hard work and asked that for community members “continue to stand for those who can’t stand up for themselves.” A previously homeless young mother, Kendra Hill discussed her experience couch surfing, on the streets, and the support she found through Project Reach. Sarah Chess presented on the progress that the state has made in ending homelessness and improving youth services as well as opportunities to get involved through the Youth Engagement Team Initiative and 2017 CT Youth Count!
Awareness raising through vigils and public events is a key strategy for engaging the greater community in your YETI’s efforts and programs.
Organize and Prepare: Set up a location easily accessible to the public, particularly through public transit if possible, and open for the type of presentation you are planning. Time your event to work well both for working people to be able to arrive after office hours as well as a convenient for youth and young adults.
Presenters: Plan to include a variety of speakers, from those with lived experience and service providers to town officials. A diverse range of perspectives can help a community relate to the problem.
Advertise your event: Reaching out through religious organizations, community centers, and schools can
End in an ask: Give your audience action steps that they can take to support the work of your region in ending homelessness, such as:
Volunteer for the Point in Time Count or 2017 CT Youth Count!
Join the Youth Engagement Team Initiative or other youth meeting taking place in the region
Participate in advocacy efforts and call to actions
Follow your organization’s newsletter or email updates
Previous YETI Reports: