Grant Recipient Profile: Think Big for Kids

Youth In Need is our most recent recipient of the Think Big for Kids grant from YouthBridge Community Foundation.

Youth In NeedYouth In Need is the most recent recipient of our Think Big for Kids grant for its idea to convene, integrate, and coordinate the entire region’s resources and services to provide a home for at-risk and disconnected youth. Youth in Need is creating a network of service agencies across St. Louis City and County, as well as St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren counties to significantly reduce youth homelessness and increase permanent housing for at-risk youth. The network will build trust and relationships with homeless youth; provide trauma-informed, age and developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive services; understand how to deal with youth victims of sex-trafficking; provide fair and equitable access to youth-appropriate housing; and utilize a positive youth development framework.

Youth in Need’s services for homeless and runaway youth began in 1974 when community volunteers opened an emergency shelter. Since then, the agency has grown to provide a variety of prevention and intervention services to more than 10,000 children, youth and families each year at nearly 100 locations across the agency’s 100-mile service area. Services include infant, child and family development, Head Start and Early Head Start, emergency youth shelter, transitional youth housing, homeless street outreach, Safe Place, youth and family counseling, school-based counseling, foster care case management and positive youth development.

“Youth In Need is thrilled to be a recipient of YouthBridge’s Think Big for Kids grant,” said Pat Holterman-Hommes, Youth In Need’s Chief Executive Officer. “This grant is all about funding big ideas that serve children and youth in our community. Through this grant, Youth In Need will operate a youth coordinated entry system for the Continuums of Care in St. Louis City and St. Louis, St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren Counties to assess needs and prioritize assistance for young people experiencing homelessness. By building a robust coordinated entry system focused on youth, we can begin to significantly improve the outcomes addressing youth homelessness in our region.”

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