Lane County Youth Executive Committee Approves Plan For $3.5 Million Grant

March 15, 2022

In September 2021 Lane County was awarded a $3.5 million grant to address youth homelessness in our community. The 15th Night Youth Action Council (YAC) and Looking Glass’ Pondering Life and Advocating for Youth (PLAY) group came together to form the Lane County Youth Executive Committee, which would guide the planning for these funds. After months of many, many meetings the group, in partnership with the Lane County Poverty & Homelessness Board and the Lane County Board of County Commissioners, is excited to share their Coordinated Community Plan to prevent and end youth homelessness in our community.

The Lane County Youth Executive Committee envisions a community where the response to youth and young adult (YYA) housing instability or homelessness (HIOH) will be swift and accessible. All youth in the community will be aware of available services before housing instability occurs, and will have the support they need to successfully complete a K-12 education and post-secondary training so they may obtain employment that, at a minimum, provides a living wage and the foundation for the advancement of their choosing.

Educators, community members and stakeholders will be coordinated and accessible, and will have a thorough understanding of the resources available for any specific youth in need before a housing crisis occurs. To achieve this vision the Lane County Youth Executive Committee will be reviewing project applications for the following categories: Support Services only, Transitional Housing-Rapid Rehousing Program, and Host Homes. 

Support Service Only projects will be refined during the application process, based on applicant responses. Projects of interest may include drop-in services, outreach services, and youth navigators. Projects will include innovative strategies around finding unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness and providing services to successfully move them to housing. 

A joint Transitional Housing (TH)-Rapid Rehousing Program (RRH) will be low barrier and youth-centered, while addressing the immediate housing needs of youth with an option to transfer from TH to RRH. Program participants in TH have access to the RRH component or other permanent housing assistance to assist with the transition to permanent housing as soon as possible. 

Youth in the TH program will be provided a low-barrier, safe and warm place to stay with wrap-around case management, as needed by program participants. Case management will be individualized and client-driven, giving power to youth clients to decide the goals and priorities they want to focus on achieving. The RRH component of the program will provide housing identification and placement assistance, access to financial assistance for move-in costs and time-limited rent assistance, and RRH case management and services, as needed by program participants. 

Host Homes are a network of private homes that volunteer to host youth in need of temporary placement. They may serve as a safe, affirming, and stable short term placement for youth under the age of 18 who need a “cooling off” period to repair their relationship with self-identified and chosen family before returning home. When family reunification is not possible, Host Homes provide wraparound case management to assist youth with identifying other housing options and building life skills that will lead to long-term, stable housing. Host Homes are unique in their replication of a healthy, family environment. 

The Youth Executive Committee is working with Lane County officials to build the Request For Proposals (RPF), which are scheduled for release in April. The Youth Executive Committee will play a vital role in scoring applications for funding. We are so proud of the youth who have put so much time in to this work and we are so excited to see the impact that this funding will have on our community!