Health & Well-Being

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.

Develop free, mobile, comprehensive healthcare (mind and body) hubs that provide high quality trauma-informed services, are accessible, and are community-based.

  1. Identify capacity of existing Coalition members and recruit additional members to represent holistic health expertise.
  2. Conduct a community needs assessment to understand holistic health and well-being needs and available resources to serve youth experiencing housing instability, including the unique needs of youth who belong to populations that are disproportionately impacted by housing instability such as youth of color, LGBTQ+ youth, youth who have immigrated to the U.S., pregnant and parenting youth, and youth who have been system-involved.
  3. Develop a collaborative model for providing mobile comprehensive healthcare, which includes a community liaison and peer navigators to solidify the connection between providers and youth.
  4. Bring together community partners and funders interested in implementing collaborative model.

Ensure that health and well-being services are accessible to and affirming of all youth experiencing housing instability.

  1. Develop an inclusive and affirming youth screening and assessment tool to be used by service providers delivering health and mental health services.
  2. Develop accessibility assessment tool for organizations providing health and mental health services to identify areas of growth in providing inclusive services for youth with differing abilities, youth who use different languages to communicate (spoken and non-spoken), LGBTQ+ youth, youth of color, and other populations of youth experiencing housing instability. (Combine with previously described organizational assessment tool under previous goal).
  3. Provide technical assistance for organizations as they work on areas identified in above described organizational assessment.
  4. Identify models for service provision (such as home visiting models) that reduce barriers such as transportation, particularly those that have been used in other communities with success.
  5. Identify policy advocacy opportunities to increase access to health and mental health care with little or no cost to the youth.
  6. Develop an outreach plan for supporting application completion for Medicaid under the new expansion for youth who are eligible, and ensure we are connected to & aligned with existing efforts.

Develop meaningful relationships between health and well-being service providers and the community in order to address lack of trust.

  1. Identify and acknowledge historical context of existing relationships between the community and service providers, which have impacted trust and relationships.
  2. Identify competencies for health and well-being providers serving youth experiencing housing instability, and design training to increase competence in identified areas as well as consistency across providers (Link with bill of rights for youth experiencing housing instability).
  3. Develop training for youth experiencing housing instability to self-advocate, and to understand competencies/expectations for providers.
  4. Develop assessment tool for health & well-being providers to use internally to identify practices that could be strengthened to increase access and quality service to youth experiencing housing instability.

Develop services and resources aimed at reducing the stigma of accessing and health and mental health care.

  1.  Identify services and resources that enhance health and well-being but have not been identified specifically as health services, such as social skills classes, health literacy, and empowerment.
  2. Identify core content and intended outcomes of these services.
  3. Offer services through collaborative partners and peer navigators at hub and other accessible locations in community.

Ensure that staff and peer navigators who are providing health and well-being services reflect the communities they serve.

  1. Working with organizations serving youth experiencing housing instability, assess the current state of hired professionals and the extent to which they reflect the young people they serve.
  2. Draw from national expertise (such as Mark Dones of the Center for Social Innovation) on systemic strategies to shift the make-up of the workforce of people serving youth experiencing housing instability/homelessness particularly with regard to race.
  3. With local expertise, identify strategies to increase the extent to which the workforce reflects the youth served.
  4. Work in partnership with a core group of community organizations willing to take on these strategies.