One in ten young adults experience #homelessness during one year, Chapin Hall finds


A groundbreaking study released Nov. 15 by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago reveals one in 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, and at least one in 30 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17, experience some form of homelessness over the course of a year.

This study captures youth homelessness broadly, including situations such as sleeping on the streets, in shelters, running away and couch surfing. “Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America” demonstrates the diverse circumstances of young people who experience homelessness, identifies who is most at risk and illuminates a nationwide problem cutting across rural and urban areas alike.

“We have a collective obligation to ensure all young people have a chance to succeed, starting from a young age,” said Bryan Samuels, executive director of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. “Intervening and building stability during adolescence and young adulthood for those at highest risk will have lifelong effects. As a country, we can look for the missed opportunities in schools, communities and public services to prevent youth homelessness.”

Chapin Hall’s national survey of 26,161 people offers new insight into the scope and urgency of youth homelessness in America, providing data to inform policy. The study found that that certain populations—specifically, African-American and Hispanic youths; young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender; young parents; and those who have not completed high school—are statistically more likely to experience homelessness than their peers. The study also shows that young people living in rural and urban communities experience homelessness at similar rates.

75 people sleep on #ColoradoSprings streets as a fundraiser for #homelessyouth


More than 75 volunteers will sleep outside Thursday night as a fundraiser for Urban Peak’s shelter program. This is the fourth annual Night Out to End Youth Homelessness, held during national Homeless Youth  Awareness Month

Volunteers sponsor their night out by raising money and learning about the challenges facing youth who are homeless and trying to find a way out.

Participants will be sleeping in the parking lot and sidewalk at First United Methodist Church in downtown Colorado Springs.

No tents are allowed during the night out, but participants can use sleeping bags, cardboard boxes and tarps to survive the elements.

“One in four youth who go without shelter will become victims of human trafficking,” Shawna Kemppainen, executive director of Urban Peak Colorado Springs said in a news release. “Our night out in the cold will help youth come in from the cold this winter.”

The collective goal is to raise at least $40,000, enough to support Urban Peak’s shelter program through the winter holidays. Urban Peak operates a 20-bed shelter for youth ages 15 through 20. It costs about $71 per night to provide youth shelter, food, counseling and other services at Urban Peak.

More here.

Santa Cruz County targets youth homelessness

Santa Cruz’s new Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program members tested an idea on a group gathered downtown Friday: Youth homelessness is unacceptable and should be addressed immediately.

“We should be housing every youth we see. We should not be walking and stepping over the youth that are lying down or standing around who are homeless,” Santa Cruz County Human Services senior analyst Najeeb Kamil told a standing room-only crowd of more than 60 in a Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History conference room. “We should be interacting with them, we should be engaging them and thinking about, ‘How can I personally, in Santa Cruz County, contribute to this cause.’ ‘How can I end youth homelessness on an individual basis.’”

Such a perspective may have helped push Santa Cruz County into the final 10 communities nationwide selected from 130 applicants for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project. Looking to find new solutions for youth homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development granted a total of $33 million toward the 10 grantees to design and test strategies to end the problem.

Click here for more.

A warm, nurturing place for homeless youths

Young people make up 9 to 10 percent of people experiencing homelessness. In El Paso county there can be over 100 youths on the street on any given night. They are at greater risk of dropping out of school, don't have adult role models to teach them basic life skills, and are more likely to be targeted by human traffickers. Urban Peak is the only organization in our area specifically rallying around these kids and working to provide them the opportunity to thrive.

"Our whole mission is to ignite the potential in youth to exit homelessness and lead self-determined, fulfilled lives, and they define that for themselves," says Executive Director Shawna Kemppainen. "That is probably the thing that we do best and differently from most places. We stand beside youth and we let them say 'Here is where I am going to head.'"

Urban Peak runs three programs for youths 15 through 20: street outreach, a shelter and a housing program. Lots of kids — over 400 a year — get their first introduction to Urban Peak by meeting the street outreach team. They are there to offer unconditional acceptance as kids make difficult decisions for their survival. Kemppainen explains: "About 30 percent of youth who are out on the street will actually end up engaging in some sort of survival sex — trading sex for money, food, a place to stay ... but they are also very mistrusting of adults, so it takes many, many conversations with them [before they are willing to come to the shelter]." The street outreach team builds relationships and patiently rebuilds trust. Their focus is helping young people find their next step — contacting a safe family member, finding a place to stay or getting into the shelter.

Click here for the full article from Colorado Springs Independent.

Photos from our Artivist Workshop at the Good Shepherd Notre Dame Shelter in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

View our photos from our Artivist Workshop at the Good Shepherd Notre Dame Shelter in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. They provide services to homeless youth by providing holistic services aimed at trauma reduction and safety.  We had an amazing workshop and the youth were very engaged in expressing their ideas about drug addiction and homelessness through the artivism concept.

Would you like to host one of our Artivism workshops at your school or non-profit? We would love to hear from you! Contact us!

Since 2011, Project Attica has brought Artivism – a free, dynamic, visual art, interactive workshop to students in New York City. Held in middle schools, high schools and community organizations in the city, Artivism provides students with a space to create works of art by expressing their views about social justice issues on wearable canvases.