The Coordinated, Comprehensive Plan to End Youth Housing Instability

The Youth Housing Stability Coalition launched in 2017 with the goal of reducing homelessness and housing instability among youth ages 14-24 in the region.

United Way manages this program together with the Advocates for Richmond Youth (ARY) and Dr. Alex Wagaman, an assistant professor in the VCU School of Social Work. The program is supported by the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation and the Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Fund.

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Following a three day planning summit held in April 2018, the Youth Housing Stability Coalition developed a comprehensive, coordinated Community Response Plan for our region. This plan outlines important steps needed to reduce homelessness and housing instability among Richmond’s young people.
All youth in Greater Richmond have permanent, stable, safe housing that affirms them in all of their identities and allows them to thrive.
  • Youth Centered & Affirming
  • Trauma Informed Practices & Systems
  • Policy & Advocacy Integration
  • LGBTQ+ Affirming
  • Data Informed
  • Anti-Racist
  • Immigrant & Refugee Inclusive
  • Sensitive to Risks for Violence & Exploitation
  • Honoring Harm Reduction

Our use of the words “housing instability” is intentional. We recognize the strong efforts in our community to address literal homelessness in our region. Best practice suggests the characteristics of youth facing a housing crisis differ in significant ways from adults and require different interventions. Housing instability covers all federal definitions of homelessness which is utilized by U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness when addressing homelessness among youth.

Focus Areas

Putting proper policy in place will not only raise awareness and support around youth housing instability, but it will also give those who have been directly affected an opportunity to speak out.

 

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Meeting people where they are is an important aspect of any initiative. That’s why we plan to provide youth experiencing housing instability the tools and resources they need to find support.

 

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In order for individuals to find stability, they need skills and access to opportunities that will allow them to achieve independence. Career readiness and reliable transportation are just a few steps that will get them there.

 

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Getting school systems more invested in the out-of-school experience of youth is critical to success. Youth experiencing housing instability can be supported and empowered when adults in their lives are prepared to help them succeed.

 

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Finding quality care and prioritizing one’s health is difficult when a young person is struggling with housing instability. We plan to work with healthcare providers to connect youth with quality medical professionals who are reflective of the communities they serve.

 

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Adverse experiences are made easier with a caring and attentive support network. By creating genuine connections with mentors and peers, individuals will be both empowered and affirmed in their experiences.

 

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Not all temporary housing options are clean, safe and suitable for human habitation. We will identify quality solutions available to local youth in case of an emergency.

 

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We will help youth experiencing housing instability find a permanent housing option that meets their unique situations with continued support from existing organizations.

 

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