HPRP Youth Program Profiles: Milwaukee Partnership

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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Solutions Brief | September 21, 2010

Files: PDF | 111 KB | 1 page

nameWalker’s Point Youth and Family Center, St.Amelian’s-Lakeside,Inc. and Pathfinders, all located in Milwaukee, WI, formed a strong partnership in the front line delivery of HPRP. They collaborated on the HPRP grant application and demonstrated comprehensive service provision to different subpopulations of homeless and at-risk youth. In 2009, the three organizations were awarded over $1 million in HPRP funds by the City of Milwaukee Community Development Grants Administration to be used over the next three years.

HPRP Initiatives
Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center offers homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing services to runaway, homeless, and other youth in crisis. Walker’s Point also works with families with dependent teenagers as well as young families with parents under the age of 21. Eligible applicants must be motivated to receive case management and follow other program requirements. Walker’s Point offers supportive housing for youth between the ages of 18 and 21 on a scattered-site basis for up to 18 months.

Pathfinders is the lead agency in a collaborative program involving four youth-serving agencies in Milwaukee (one of which is St. Amelian’s-Lakeside, Inc.). The program, known as Q-BLOK, provides homelessness prevention for at-risk LGBT youth between the ages of 18 and 25 through case management, permanent housing location assistance, and
financial assistance.

St. Amelian’s-Lakeside, Inc. targets foster youth who are aging out of the system and former foster youth who are at risk of homelessness. Their HPRP program, called Youth Moving On, serves 20 youth in scattered, single-bedroom apartments. In addition to intensive case management, life skills training, and employment and budgeting assistance, clients receive a graduating subsidy and are expected to slowly increase their contribution toward rent as they progress through the program.

Community Partnerships
The three organizations meet every two months to consult on any changes and to keep track of program operations. Since each organization serves a specific group, a referral flow chart was developed in the planning stages to determine which agency would be most appropriate for different clients; this tool has streamlined the intake and referral process. These organizations work together closely both in the administration of HPRP and in providing other services. Pathfinders and St. Amelian’s-Lakeside, Inc. are partnered in a model project serving LGBT youth; Pathfinders and Walker’s Point collaborate in the operation of street outreach teams and a youth drop-in center.

Constraints
The directors of Walker’s Point and Q-BLOK both cite the employment market as very tough on young people and responsible for a slower exit rate from the HPRP program than they had hoped.

Another difficulty the case managers face is finding landlords who are willing to rent to youth with no rental history, no credit, and often no job, despite the case management and financial support offered by each organization.

Achievements
HPRP allowed Pathfinders to expand what was designed as a demonstration project into a full fledged program that serves up to 25 youth at a time. The youth in this program have made significant progress toward self-sufficiency.

St. Amelian’s-Lakeside, Inc. serves up to 20 youth per month and allowed the organization to expand their service portfolio to offer supportive housing for former foster youth, a long-time organization goal.

Walker’s Point’s high rate of successful and safe exits has continued and is likely to increase with HPRP as an additional resource tool.