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Services to Homeless Youth

9/18/2018 3:00:00 PM

Employment and training programs that serve youth and young adults up to age 24 are providing services to a growing number of homeless youth. Without a home and access to basic necessities, young people are likely to face barriers to participating in employment programs – such as the lack of required documentation and transportation.

DEED's Performance Management Unit interviewed three Minnesota youth program providers who have adapted their services to reach and better serve young adults who are experiencing homelessness.

  • Job counselors in the Southeast region are building relationships and connecting with young adults using an innovative approach to communication.
  • In Minneapolis, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Youth programs set goals and measured progress in a 100-day challenge in partnership with housing and service providers.
  • Co-located services help job counselors provide a comprehensive approach to serving youth in Anoka County.

Key findings:

  • Collaboration opens up doors, improves outreach, reduces systemic barriers, and creates access to new services.
  • Building trusted relationships with participants is key.
  • Job counselors assist with obtaining required personal identification documents and completing applications.
  • Youth employment programs engage and serve youth where they are, in terms of physical location, and use multiple methods of communication.

Success Comes in Small Steps

Even as youth work to finish high school or GED and develop other job-readiness skills, a job may be far into the future. Stability, safety and a clear path toward a career are the first steps to successful outcomes for youth experiencing homelessness. For more information, read the full report Spotlight on Services to Youth Experiencing Homelessness.

About the WIOA Young Adult Program

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides out-of-school youth between 16 and 24 and in-school youth between 14 and 21 with year-round employment and training services. Under this law, WIOA youth services emphasize services to out-of-school and disconnected youth, high school dropout recovery and attainment of post-secondary credentials. The WIOA Young Adult Program is located in DEED’s Office of Youth Development.


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