We serve 16- to 24-year-olds at risk of losing their housing and those already experiencing homelessness.
The HOPE 4 Youth Drop-In Center in Anoka is the hub for many of our services. It is a safe, non-judgmental place for all youth who are in need. No appointment is necessary to visit for a hot meal, to get clothing or hygiene items, or to use the shower or laundry facilities. Case managers at the center connect young people to stable housing, health and wellness programs, education and employment opportunities, and more.
Our HOPE Homes program supports situations where a family friend, relative, or neighbor allows a young person to stay at their place to avoid being homeless. This program turns these couch-hopping situations into more structured agreements that are beneficial to the hosts and the young people who are living with them.
HOPE Place is our 12-unit transitional housing facility in Coon Rapids that offers supportive services to 18- to 24-year-olds who are experiencing homelessness. HOPE Place staff and community partners provide on-site case management, including education and employment guidance, aimed at promoting self-sufficiency and long-term success.
The young people we see at HOPE 4 Youth carry many burdens. We recognize that every young person is on their own journey — and no two stories are the same. We are one touchpoint on their personal journey. As such, we have a four-fold approach when walking alongside youth:
- Trauma-Informed Care (TIC): Our staff are trained in TIC service delivery models. Rather than fixing what’s wrong, we look at youth in terms of what has happened to them — specifically lived trauma. TIC helps us create safe spaces, build trust, and encourage youth to regain healthy responsibility.
- Strengths-Based: Many youth experiencing homelessness have been in ongoing survival mode or endured trauma that has removed their fundamental sense of choice. At intake, case managers empower young adults to set goals based on their strengths and areas where they can regain control for long-term self-sufficiency.
- Client-Centered: Effective solutions must be informed by the youth we serve. The Youth Advisory Council gives young adults the space to make recommendations for program improvement, especially related to including the voices of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC youth.
- Harm Reduction: Ending youth homelessness relies on the important framework of harm reduction, where we encourage youth goal setting to reduce the negative consequences of drug use, alcohol addiction, or other high-risk behaviors. Without judgment, we offer youth resources for improved sexual, mental, physical, and emotional health.
Informed by “Measuring Up: Youth-level Outcomes and Measures for Systems Response to Youth Homelessness” from the University of Chicago, and the 2014 publication “9 Evidence-Based Principles to Help Youth Overcome Homelessness”