As communities focus on ending youth homelessness by 2020, it is essential strategies are developed to increase supported opportunities to get youth off the streets and out of shelters while going upstream, partnering with child welfare, education and juvenile justice systems to identify risk factors of and the entry points into homelessness. The intersection of the juvenile justice and child welfare system and youth homelessness are particularly complex but an aspect being tackled both at the local and national levels.
In Minnesota there are ongoing efforts within the juvenile justice and the homelessness systems to raise awareness. Nonetheless, there still exists a need to elevate the focus on cross systems coordination and collaboration. In response to this, CSH, in partnership with the Minnesota Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, Olmsted County Community Corrections, and YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, will host a workshop: Understanding the Intersection of Youth Homelessness and Juvenile Justice/Corrections Involvement at the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless Annual Conference on October 11, 2016.
Additionally, Josephine Pufpaff, CSH Senior Program Manager in Minnesota, has been invited to serve as an adviser to the Center for Juvenile Justice national initiative: Collaborating for Change: Addressing Youth Homelessness and Juvenile Justice. This project, supported by the Raikes Foundation, the Tow Foundation and the Melville Charitable Trust, has two main goals: (1) to decrease the likelihood that youth experiencing homelessness become involved with the juvenile justice system, and (2) to prevent youth homelessness among justice-involved youth. In collaboration with project partners the National Network for Youth and the National League of Cities' Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, the project will generate policy and practice recommendations, training and technical assistance resources, and avenues for greater collaboration across systems.