The youth line of work will focus on ending youth and young adult homelessness in Chicago. Activities include right-sizing youth housing interventions and developing youth prevention, as well as bridging to the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, Chicago Public Schools, and the juvenile justice system.
Stay informed on what’s happening with the lines of work
At any given time, there are approximately 1,500 youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in Chicago. On average, it takes close to six months for a unit to become available. As a result of this long wait, many young people lose touch with the system. We have a plan to make it possible for young people to move into housing more quickly and we’d like you to join us in achieving our goal.
Chicago’s 100-Day Challenge
In October 2019, a collaborative team of representatives from the Chicago Youth Action Board, Chicago Task Force on Youth Homelessness, the City of Chicago, All Chicago, Cook County Juvenile Probation, Chicago Public Schools, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, homeless youth service providers, and other area stakeholders embarked on a 100-Day Challenge.
The 100-Day Challenge is a catalyst to transform how we support youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. Through the Challenge, Chicago will stably house 225 youth and young adults (age 17-24) who are unstably housed, with at least 50% having had contact or interactions with at least one other system: Justice, Child Welfare, or Behavioral Health.
Interested in getting involved? Contact Beth Horwitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth System Blueprint
Chicago Youth Sector – Housing Program Model Design
In April 2018, the youth sector developed the blueprint for a community response to youth homelessness. This document outlined the need to re-evaluate existing housing models to fit the needs of youth experiencing homelessness. The Youth Housing Program Model Design is based on community work with ICF (a national consultant), to identify program standards that are aspirational but critical to increasing our system’s effectiveness improving overall efforts to end youth homelessness. The process to create this standard focused only on youth models that have a bed or housing component and is based on a 2 day, in-person workshop with 30 stakeholders (including youth with lived experience), a review of national best practices, and layers of community feedback. The Housing Program Model Design refines existing program models and identifies significant changes. It is designed to serve as a foundational guide that outlines aspirational program standards for youth housing program models in Chicago to achieve greater consistency and quality across housing program model types.
Committees and Workgroups
Youth Action Board
Youth Action Board
The Youth Action Board (YAB) is made up of youth leaders from Chicago who have previously experienced homelessness. The YAB is currently recruiting new members for 2020. Download the application and instructions here.
- Interested in partnering with the YAB? Please complete this survey to sharing how you’d wish to collaborate. The Project Managers will share this with the YAB for discussion during their Saturday meetings, usually held every first Saturday of the month.
Chicago Task Force on Homeless Youth
The Chicago Task Force on Homeless Youth is a network of city and state agency officials, youth providers and advocates, and homeless youth working to address the issue of youth homelessness in Chicago. The goal of the Task Force is to create a comprehensive, developmentally appropriate menu of services for youth who experience homelessness in order to prevent homeless youth from becoming the next generation of homeless adults.
Expertise needed: The task force is open to anyone interested in working to end homelessness for youth (age 24 and under).
Meeting details: The group meetings occur quarterly at DFSS (1516 W. Chicago Ave., Room 249A) from 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM. Please contact Ceri Moy with questions.
Youth Action Update
The Youth Project Managers host monthly CoC youth action updates to provide timely updates to the community.
Meeting details: Held the second Monday of every month from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM via webinar. If you would like to join these monthly calls, please register here.
Below are recordings of previous meetings:
- November 2019
- September 2019
- August 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- April 23, 2019: Employment & Income Refinement Workshop
Youth Data Workgroup
The Youth Data Workgroup is tasked with addressing system and program dashboards, performance, evaluation and typology creation.
Meeting details: The group meetings occur at DFSS on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month from 1:30-3:30pm. Contact Ceri Moy for more information.