In 2013, 2,215 unduplicated youth received services at YouthLink and the Youth Opportunity Center. 62% of these youth accessed services beyond basic needs (legal, housing, healthcare, education, employment supports). 203 youth found safe housing in YouthLink's supportive housing programs. 63% of housed youth worked toward or attained an educational goal, 68% worked toward or obtained increased income levels, and 71% established 12 months of continuous housing stability. 78% of housed youth exited our program to safe and affordable housing in 2013. Street Outreach made 4,777 contacts with youth on the streets, providing basic needs supplies, resource information, transportation assistance, and informal counseling.
At YouthLink, we have nine guiding principles that shape the way we work with young people experiencing homelessness.
Journey Oriented: We interact with youth to help them understand the interconnectedness of past, present, and future as they decide where they want to go and how to get there.
Trauma-Informed: We recognize that most homeless youth have experienced trauma; we build our relationships, responses, and services on that knowledge.
Non-Judgemental: We interact with youth without labeling or judging them on the basis of their background, experiences, choices, or behaviors.
Harm Reduction: We contain the effects of risky behavior in the short-term and seek to reduce its effects in the long term.
Trusting Youth-Adult Relationships: We build relationships by interacting with youth in an honest, dependable, authentic, caring, and supportive way.
Strengths-Based: We start with, and build upon, the skills, strengths, and positive characteristics of each youth.
Positive Youth Development: We provide opportunities for youth to build a sense of competency, usefulness, belonging, and power.
Holistic: We engage youth in a manner that recognizes that mental, physical, spiritual, and social health are interconnected and interrelated.
Collaboration: We establish a principles-based, youth-focused system of support that integrates practices, procedures, and services within and across agencies, systems, and policies.
Additionally, our organizational goals are as follows:
Reduce instances of sustained chronic homelessness among program participants
-Improve youth's ability to remove barriers to self-reliance by improving education and employment levels
-Empower youth's ability to gain control over their own lives by promoting social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral competencies.
- Increase youth’s ability to provide for their selves, manage their own affairs and make their own judgments.
- Improve youth’s positive sense of being part of a school, family unit, support network, and/or a larger community