HPRP Youth Program Profiles: Hope Street

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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Solutions Brief | September 21, 2010

Files: PDF | 109 KB | 1 page

nameHope Street for Runaway and Homeless Youth, located in Minneapolis, MN, works with at-risk and homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 21. Hope Street operates an emergency shelter, transitional living program, and conducts street outreach. All Hope Street clients are provided service referrals, crisis management, and case management. Hope Street also offers life skills training, education and employment assistance, family counseling, and after-care services. In 2009, the street outreach team made contact with over 2,000 youth.

HPRP Initiatives
Several years prior to receiving the HPRP funds, Hope Street began conducting homelessness prevention work within two local high schools. Hope Street’s staff coordinated with school social workers to identify students at risk of homelessness and work with them on appropriate intervention. When HPRP became available, Hope Street expanded the school-based model and developed a more formal and intensive prevention program.

The Homelessness Prevention School Outreach Program partners Hope Street’s two HPRP case managers with over a dozen high schools in Minneapolis. Hope Street’s case managers go to the same schools every week and work with their young clients to prevent or end their homelessness. Services include eviction prevention funds, relocation assistance, landlord or family mediation, connection to mainstream benefits, independent living training, employment assistance, and clothing referrals.

Community Partnerships
Hope Street is the primary grantee for their HPRP funds and Andrea Simonett, Hope Street’s Director, credits the organization’s unique model as a key to their success. While many of the area’s youth service providers were developing rapid re-housing programs, Hope Street’s prevention-focused
partnerships with the area’s public schools stood out relative to other grant applicants.

In addition to the public school partnerships, Hope Street works closely with a number of community based organizations, particularly Catholic Charities, which supplements Hope Street’s HPRP program.

Constraints
One challenge Hope Street faces is limited funds. Hope Street’s case manager connects youth to other services but the organization ran out of housing assistance funds quickly, demonstrating the need for more homelessness prevention funds in Minneapolis.

Another difficulty is finding landlords who will rent to minors, even to older youth between the ages of 18 and 22. Life skills training and support is an integral part of the case management but this can be limited in some cases due to the school-based outreach strategy of the HPRP program.

Achievements
As of July 2010, Hope Street’s case managers had screened about 100 youth and 21 had received rental assistance. Many more were connected with Hope Street’s other services, such as long term case management or placement in transitional housing programs.

Of the 100 applicants, the majority were single females between the ages of 18 and 22. Half had already been forced out of their family’s housing and 75 percent had little or no income. 46 percent were currently experiencing
abuse and 45 percent acknowledged some mental health issues.

Hope Street has successfully developed a range of partnerships in the community with schools, landlords, legal agencies, employment agencies, immigration services, and other adult and mainstream services. Although it can be challenging using funds for youth, the formal and informal partnerships with other providers helps supplement the gaps in services limited by HPRP.