Please note: As part of #GivingTuesday, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation is posting a few articles that already appeared in print, in various issues of our Resource newsletter. The following article ran in our April 2021 issue, which can be seen in its entirety here: https://issuu.com/nmfcommunications/docs/nmf_resource_newsletter_april_2021_vol_86
NMF Works with Partners to Launch Mobile App to Support Youth Experiencing Homelessness
Building better lives has been a guiding vision for the Northwest Minnesota Foundation since we implemented our current strategic plan in 2018. One way we have been working toward this mission is by addressing homelessness in our region. In 2019, NMF was asked to become the Collaborative Applicant for the Northwest Continuum of Care (NWCoC). The Collaborative Applicant assists in being a liaison between the northwest region of Minnesota and the United States Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). One of our collaborative efforts through the NWCoC is the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP). A key goal of the YHDP was to implement technology into the response system for youth experiencing homelessness. As such, we are thrilled with the recent launch of MyPath, an app that connects youth experiencing homelessness throughout our region with much-needed resources. MyPath is here to empower Northwest Minnesota youth, and their communities, to ask for and connect to the resources they need to successfully access housing, avoid homelessness, and pursue happiness.
“We are doing what we can to promote systems change around youth homelessness,” said Cory Boushee, program officer at NMF. “Instead of telling homeless, or home insecure, youth what they need, we wanted to create a platform for them to tell us what they need.”
MyPath allows unaccompanied youth between the ages of 16 and 24 to access resources in various categories such as mental health, education, food, shelters, and much more. MyPath also allows homeless youth to ask for other resources they may be searching for. Visit www.mypaths.org to learn more about the ways MyPath can help youth experiencing homelessness.
This project has brought NMF one step closer toward achieving our goal of making significant and verifiable progress toward ending homelessness among unaccompanied youth in the Northwest Continuum of Care region of Minnesota.
The YHDP is hoping to bring new and existing stakeholders together to prevent and end homelessness for unaccompanied youth, ages 16 to 24, throughout the northwest region of Minnesota. The work of assisting youth in crisis is done by our incredible YHDP partners. We certainly could not list all of them, so we will call out those partners who have received funding from HUD: Mahube-Otwa Community Action Partnership, Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Northwest Community Action, Inter-County Community Council, and Northwest Indian Community Development Center. These partners and their services span the entire northwest region. Since the program began in 2019, 66 people have received housing assistance, including 39 adults and 27 children, indicating that mostly young families are being served. Of the people who have exited the program, 85 percent had a positive outcome, meaning they were able to move on to living on their own without this support.
Visit www.nwmf.org/resources/strategic-partnerships/nwcoc/ to learn more about the NWCoC and YHDP, among other projects that NMF is working on through our Homelessness program as we work to build better lives throughout Northwest Minnesota.