Tag Archive | opportunity youth

The Opening Doors Collaborative Aims to Increase Employment & Economic Opportunity Among Homeless Youth

By Caitlin C. Schnur, Coordinator, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity with Leiha Edmonds, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives

2015-09-21 - Heading Home Hennepin_Via Heidi Boyd
Earlier this year, under our new National Center on Employment and Homelessness (NCEH) and with the generous support of the Oak Foundation and the Melville Charitable Trust, we selected five communities from across the country to be a part of the Connections Project. The Connections Project is a three-year, systems-level collaboration and capacity building project that aims to increase employment and economic opportunity for homeless job seekers. This fall, our five Connections Project Sites are launching their innovative systems collaboration ideas—and over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting their exciting work. First up is Minneapolis/Hennepin County’s Opening Doors Collaborative (ODC), our Connections Project Site that’s focused on improving employment access, outcomes, and program options for youth experiencing homelessness.

Read More…

Advertisements

With an Employment First Approach, Homeless Youth Find their Professional Passions & Meet their Goals

By Leiha Edmonds, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

Brittany WatersTiffani Jackson 3 11#2

On any given night, over 200 unaccompanied children and youth experience homelessness in Washington, D.C., and it’s likely that hundreds more are doubled up, couch surfing, or living in other unstable housing situations that puts them at risk of homelessness. Yet when Friendship Place, a leading D.C.-based homeless services organization, scanned the District’s available services, they realized youth and young people up to the age of 30 often weren’t getting all the help they needed to exit homelessness. Many of these young people also weren’t working or in school, and it was clear that helping these opportunity youth succeed in employment would play a key role in preventing and ending their homelessness. That’s why Friendship Place created its Before Thirty program, which works with youth and young adults experiencing or at risk of homelessness to help them get and keep jobs, move into stable housing, and meet their goals. This month, we chatted with Before Thirty’s Youth and Young Adults Specialist, Tiffini Jackson, about the importance of an “Employment First” approach for homeless jobseekers, the hidden face of youth homelessness, and helping youth find their professional passions.

Read More…

Six Practices and Principles for Effective Employment Programming for Opportunity Youth

By David T. Applegate, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

Youth participants from Larkin Street Youth Services.

Photo courtesy of Larkin Street Youth Services.

There’s increasing national recognition that opportunity youth, or youth ages 16 to 24 years old who aren’t working or in school, can benefit substantially from gaining work experience but need help overcoming barriers to employment. Opportunity youth facing the most significant challenges—such as living in poverty, being involved in the justice system, or experiencing homelessness—often need the most intensive help to get and keep jobs, but are at risk of being left behind even by employment programs designed to help at-risk youth.

After digging into the research literature and conducting extensive interviews with opportunity youth employment providers across the country, we’ve just released a new toolkit and webinar about promising practices and principles for helping opportunity youth with the greatest barriers to employment succeed in the workforce. Here are the six promising practices and principles we’ve identified to guide employment programming for the most vulnerable opportunity youth.

Read More…

Summer Jobs for Youth Reduce Violent Crime

By David T. Applegate, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

 SGA

It turns out that having a summer job can reduce violent crime among young people from highly disadvantaged neighborhoods—even more than a year after the summer job has ended. During the summer of 2012, Chicago’s One Summer Plus program offered eight weeks of subsidized, part-time summer employment, an adult job mentor, and—in some cases—a social emotional learning curriculum to youth with barriers to employment. An experimental study evaluating One Summer Plus found that over the next 16 months, violent crime arrests among youth who were offered summer jobs decreased by 43 percent compared to youth who weren’t.

By helping to implement One Summer Plus, SGA Youth & Family Services (SGA) has been central to Chicago’s efforts to curb violence and increase summer employment opportunities for the city’s vulnerable youth. SGA works in over forty communities across Chicago and offers a wide variety of services ranging from operating community health clinics to educational support and, of course, youth employment opportunities.

The National Initiatives team spoke with Jamie Roth, SGA’s Director of Workforce Development, to discuss the organization’s role in One Summer Plus and its broader work to combat poverty and bring hope and change to local communities across Chicago.

Read More…

Through Employment, Larkin Street Helps Youth “Get off the Street for Good”

By Caitlin C. Schnur, Coordinator, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

Photo for Larkin Blog

In preparation for an upcoming best practice guide on employment services for youth, we’ve spent the past few weeks in conversation with practitioners and program administrators in the field to gather and lift up their expertise in helping at-risk young job seekers succeed in employment. Recently, we sat down with Jamie Fountain, Associate Director of Workforce Development at Larkin Street Youth Services. Located in San Francisco, Larkin Street got its start in the 1980s serving bagged lunches to youth experiencing homelessness in San Francisco’s Polk Gulch neighborhood. Today, Larkin Street has 25 programs across 14 program sites and offers youth experiencing and at-risk of homelessness a comprehensive set of services including housing, medical care, and education and employment services via Larkin’s Hire Up program. While in Hire Up, youth can receive job readiness training, learn computer and technology skills, earn wages as part of supervised, entry-level work crew, and participate in paid internships with local businesses and organizations.

Larkin Street recognizes that youth’s success in employment is critical to its mission to “help kids get off the street for good.” In this conversation, Jamie talks about how “failure” yields innovation, the power of supportive relationships in helping youth get and keep jobs, and why it’s important to celebrate success along the journey to sustainable employment.

Read More…