On Thursday, October 30, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) partnered with CSH to host the Youth At-Risk of Homelessness (YARH) Connecting Youth Charrette in New Brunswick, NJ. Well attended and high-energy, the Charrette embraced an intense community process that included expert-infused fishbowls and active feedback from those who work with youth at-risk of homelessness every day.
The charrette model developed by CSH is designed to condense what can be a long, drawn-out community process into a one-day brainstorming and planning session. Fishbowl participants in this charrette focused on four key topics: Housing and Housing Options; Housing Specific Populations; Permanency; and Education and Training. Each fishbowl began with an introduction of experts and then kicked into high gear when participants shared ideas and vital information on the needs of Youth At-Risk and the best ways to help them.
Director of the DCF Office of Adolescent Services Jessica Trombetta and CSH President and CEO Deb DeSantis set the tone for the day when they opened the Charrette by urging participants to “Think big” and charging them with the task of designing far-reaching solutions to end youth homelessness.