Southeast Ohio Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) projects began in December 2018, and in the months since have significantly ramped up operations.
Since implementation, the new YHDP street outreach project has served over 60 individuals and the new Rapid Re-housing (RRH) project has assisted nearly 40 youth households in the five-county region of Southeast Ohio.
YHDP partners and the community are learning a lot about the local needs of youth as they implement these projects. For example, early analysis of needs and services gaps predicted that most of the youth to be served would be unaccompanied youth ages 18 to 24. However, the majority of those actually assisted by the YHDP projects have been parenting youth.
Fortunately, the YHDP project models, including the RRH program, have provided much needed flexibility that has allowed grantees to serve youth households of varying sizes with much success. In some cases, the RRH project has helped provide the housing stability needed to help youth parents move forward on reunification plans with their children and even close existing child protective services cases.
To help support the implementation of new projects and the vision of the Southeast Ohio Coordinated Community Plan to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness, YHDP partners agreed to use available planning funds to hire a Liaison. The Liaison has created and distributed informational materials, built upon the existing Youth Action Board, and created and operationalized case conferencing between key YHDP partners.
Now in the fifth month of service implementation, we have fined tuned policy and procedures between the two lead agencies to better streamline services. This includes policies on case conferencing, referrals to the RRH program, and ongoing service coordination.
-Sam Gress, YHDP Liaison