CINCINNATI (January 18, 2017) – Strategies to End Homelessness and Lighthouse Youth Services are proud to announce the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding $3.8 million to support our community’s efforts to end youth homelessness by 2020. Cincinnati/Hamilton County is one of only 10 communities in the entire nation chosen for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) a new effort to help communities build systems intended to end youth homelessness. 130 communities submitted applications.
The YHDP was developed with youth in mind, relying upon the recommendations provided directly from young people who had experienced homelessness. Each community selected must collaborate with a broad array of partners, including a youth advisory board and the local or state public child welfare agency.
“Homelessness leaves people more vulnerable to illness, to drugs and crime, and even to human trafficking,” said U.S. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. “Thousands of our fellow Cincinnatians, many of them teenagers, are homeless this winter. I want to thank HUD for this funding; it will be put to good use and bring us closer to ending youth homelessness in our community,” said Portman.
Lighthouse has worked for more than three years on a coordinated community plan to prevent and end youth homelessness in Cincinnati/Hamilton County. The local collaboration began during the application process. Strategies to End Homelessness and Lighthouse Youth Services created the winning proposal in partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools, the Lighthouse Youth Advisory Council, Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services, Easter Seals and Mayor John Cranley. The partners will continue to participate in the planning process over the next six months.
“The purpose of the grant is to develop and implement innovative ways to reduce youth homelessness. Our community was awarded funding because we have the infrastructure in place to lead the nation on the issue of ending youth homelessness,” said Kevin Finn, president & CEO of Strategies to End Homelessness. “Because we have a strong homeless services system and partner agencies, particularly Lighthouse Youth Services, our community has the capacity to develop and execute an innovative plan from which other communities can also benefit,” he added.
“Lighthouse is uniquely qualified to spearhead this effort as a national leader of innovative services to address youth homelessness,” said Paul Haffner, president and CEO of Lighthouse Youth Services. “No other local agency focuses specifically on youth or offers the wide range of services and support Lighthouse does. By 2020, any young person alone and on the streets of Cincinnati in need of shelter will have it.”
As part of the grant, Strategies to End Homelessness and Lighthouse Youth Services will update the community-wide plan, participate in a program evaluation to inform the federal effort to prevent and end youth homelessness going forward, and serve as leaders in the nation on the work of ending homelessness among young people.
The $3.8 million awarded in Cincinnati and Hamilton County was a part of $33 million in grants announced by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro on Friday.
About Strategies to End Homelessness
Since 2007, Strategies to End Homelessness has led a comprehensive system of care to prevent and eventually end homelessness in Cincinnati/Hamilton County. Working in partnership with 30 non-profit organizations, Strategies to End Homelessness coordinates a centralized emergency shelter hotline, homelessness prevention, street outreach, emergency shelter and housing solutions with the goal of ending homelessness. Local prevention programs have shown a 92% success rate at keeping those most at risk from entering shelter or finding themselves on the streets. In addition, our community has seen a 100% increase in the number of people served in supportive housing programs since 2007. Through the work of Strategies to End Homelessness, Cincinnati is recognized nationally as a leader in implementing innovative and effective programs to end homelessness. Strategies to End Homelessness is funded in part by the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, is a United Way Agency Partner, and a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. To learn more about Strategies to End Homelessness, and the community’s integrated network of homeless services agencies, visit: www.strategiestoendhomelessness.org
About Lighthouse Youth Services
Mission: advance the dignity and well-being of children, youth and families in need.
Lighthouse Youth Services is dedicated to providing the best services and compassionate care to children, youth and families in need. The agency is a nationally recognized innovator in services for youth and families in crisis, foster care and adoption, mothers and babies, homeless youth and young adults, and youth involved with the juvenile justice system. Lighthouse also provides opportunities for learning and achievement for all students as well as housing options for young adults learning to become self-sufficient. The agency was founded in 1969. Lighthouse opened the first group home for girls in the state of Ohio the following year. In 1986, Lighthouse opened Ohio’s first private corrections facility for youth. In 2013, Lighthouse announced an initiative to end youth homelessness in Cincinnati by 2020.
President & CEO, Strategies to End Homelessness
Lighthouse Youth Services