According to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network:
“November was first declared as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month in 2007. Since then, November has been a time to acknowledge those children and families experiencing homelessness. As many as 2.5 million youth per year experience homelessness. Along with losing their home, community, friends, and routines as well as their sense of stability and safety, many homeless youth are also victims of trauma. While trying to survive on the streets, youth are exposed to countless dangers, with an increased likelihood of substance abuse, early parenthood, impulsivity, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and a vulnerability to being trafficked.”
Anawim Housing is proud to be part of the solution for ending homelessness for youth in Polk County through our Youth Permanent Supportive Housing (YHOP) program funded through Housing and Urban Development. The YHOP program serves transition aged youth between the ages of 18 to 24. Some of the youth are parenting themselves. The YHOP program has been fully operational for twelve months and serves 13 households with rental assistance and supportive services.
Serving youth requires flexibility and ability to customize services in strong partnership with the youth themselves. Positive youth development is a framework that guides Anawim’s practice in the way we organize services, opportunities, and supports so that youth participants can develop to their full potential. Basic tenets of positive youth development include focus on strengths and positive outcomes, community involvement and collaboration and encouraging youth voice and engagement. We believe youth are valued partners and we engage them in meaningful, decision-making roles in our programs and communities.
Photo: Anawim Housing program manager Wanda Price who leads our Youth Homeless Opportunities Program