HPRP Youth Program Profiles: Larkin Street

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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Solutions Brief | September 21, 2010

nameLarkin Street Youth Services, of San Francisco, California, opened in 1984 as a Drop-In Center and since then has grown to provide a continuum of services
for at-risk and homeless youth. From street outreach to permanent supportive housing, Larkin Street offers youth between the ages of 12 and 24 opportunities to stabilize, gain life skills, and move beyond the street into successful, independent adulthood.

HPRP Initiatives
Larkin Street has been offering HPRP rental assistance since November 2009. They started by focusing primarily on homelessness prevention by helping youth between the ages of 18 and 24 remain in the housing they already had. Youth graduating from Larkin Street programs or youth referred by community organizations were eligible for assistance up to 18 months as determined on a case by case basis.

In July 2010, Larkin Street changed their contract to expand attention to rapid re-housing so they could assist youth leaving shelters as well as young people not currently on their own lease, such as couch surfers. With this new direction, Larkin Street aims to hire a case manager who can devote a large amount of time to developing relationships with landlords and alleviating some of the difficulty youth face in finding landlords who will rent to them.

Community Partnerships
Larkin Street is under contract with Human Services Agency (HSA), the primary HPRP grantee. Larkin Street recognized the gap between the planning and practice and needed to shift priorities with their HPRP funding. The
working relationship and flexibility offered by HSA allowed Larkin Street to successfully steer towards a new direction with their HPRP program.

Larkin Street works closely with a number of other community organizations to provide all clients with effective and comprehensive services. As a part of the HPRP grant, Larkin Street also has a sub-contract with another organization to provide cross-training about the unique needs of homeless and at-risk youth, as well as about Larkin Street’s own HPRP program.

Constraints
The San Francisco housing market has made it hard for youth to find affordable housing. Many youth cannot find housing, so Larkin Street is hiring a case manager to conduct housing searches and build relationships with landlords.

Achievements
Currently, 23 youth have received HPRP assistance and an additional 100 youth are involved in the HPRP program looking for housing.

Larkin Street exerts a lot of energy toward their outreach programs, both to youth in the community and to other community providers about their services. This outreach has built new relationships, strengthened existing relationships, and also continues to reach youth who need Larkin Street’s services the most.

HPRP has filled a service gap allowing rental assistance for clients who are seeking their own housing or who need short term assistance to achieve or maintain stability.