Youth Homelessness – A Community Issue with A Community Solution
By: Cindy Parsons, Executive Director
St. Croix Family Resource Center
Generous funding from a Rotary International grant as well as grants from several local Rotary clubs made it possible for St. Croix Family Resource Center (FRC) to complete a Runaway and Homeless Youth Study/Action Plan. The results from the study was shared with the public on June 11th. The study is now available at www.stcroixfrc.org.
Youth homelessness is definitely a problem in Washington County. It’s a community issue and needs a community solution.
We do not need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to serving our youth with unstable housing. We need to commit to collaboration and sharing what we learn along the way. There are many ways to help and many different roles. Youth voices were heard in the study and will continue to be vital as steps to move forward as the recommended action plan unfolds. Joan Countryman, former program director of Bridge for Youth completed the study for the FRC and is now employed by FRC as the Youth Connections Coordinator. Joan will work to coordinate existing and new services for youth with unstable housing.
Youth Connections Drop-In Center is the most recent new service that will be offered for youth with unstable housing. St. Croix Family Resource Center is partnering with St. Paul Lutheran Church in Stillwater to open a drop-in center this September! Other faith communities and non-profit agencies including Youth Service Bureau will collaborate with the FRC to provide needed services for our youth at the center. An Open House is scheduled for September 6th at 2:30 with a tour at 3 p.m.
The location is St. Paul Lutheran Church, 609 5th Street S., Stillwater. The drop-in center will open for youth the following Thursday on September 13th. Training for volunteers interested in working with youth at the drop-in center will be offered the first and last weeks in August. The six-hour training sessions will be August 6th and 8th from 6-9 p.m. and August 27th and 29th from 6-9 p.m.
Please call Joan at 612-475-4055 to register and for more information about the Youth Connections Program.