Ending Youth Homelessness

Erin Wixsten is the youth lead with OrgCode and provides this week's blog. You can reach her at ewixsten@OrgCode.com

Can we get a collective ‘Huzzah!’ (sorry, it’s Renaissance Festival season here in Minnesota) for youth homelessness finally getting some attention -- and by attention, I mean new resources -- thirty three million dollars to be exact.  I know I’m not alone in my eagerness to see how the 10 communities who were recipients of the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP) funds are going to allocate their awards, and while likely not enough to end homelessness for all young people experiencing it in those communities, it represents a significant gain in what is needed to support systems planning, innovative solutions, and an increase in supportive services and programs that work to end youth homelessness.

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Car Dealerships & Homeless Facilities

Car dealerships try to get you to do three things:

1. Buy/lease from them

2. Finance through them

3. Service your vehicle with them

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Hurricanes Do Not Discriminate, but Others Do

The full extent of Irma's devastation at the time of writing is not known. I hope there are few if any fatalities. I want to focus on a couple of aspects of the hurricane as it relates to homelessness.

The first is that there were definitely two groups of people served in advance of the hurricane when it came to sheltering. Take a look at this story from Volusia County (Daytona) here

In a nutshell, those that were seeking shelter but had a permanent residence were offered one type of shelter. Those that were homeless were told that they needed to go to a homeless shelter.

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Tough Love Ain't Love

"Sometimes you gotta show clients tough love so that they'll get their act together."

That is a direct quote in a community I was just in, and the third time in just over a week I had heard a similar sentiment. 

Tough love ain't love. It's being a coercive, power-hungry jerk and convincing yourself that it is love. Tough love is so far from love that it is like saying your socks are a portable napkin stuck in your shoe.

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NAEH17

The annual conference of the National Alliance to End Homelessness is happening this week. For more than a decade I have been here presenting. I have seen the conference grow through several hotels that could accommodate the increased demand for the conference and what it has to offer. I have seen superstars within the sector stay with it as long as I have, and seen others come and go.

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Retrospective

This week marks another birthday for me. It isn't one of those milestone birthdays, and yet I have found myself more retrospective than usual for some reason. This blog is an attempt to share some of the lessons I have learned up to this point in my life.

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VI-SPDAT: 14 Things That Irk Me

Here are the 14 things that people do with the VI-SPDAT, say about the VI-SPDAT, or don’t know about the VI-SPDAT that irk me:

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Depression Sucks

It has been a few weeks since I have blogged. I have wanted to. I have not been able to. Not because I have been busy. Not because I did not have access to a computer. Not because I didn't have some ideas of what to blog about. I just couldn't.

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Insensitive & Desensitized

How do we get people to care about homelessness?

That question comes up a lot. Sometimes "people" means the general public. Other times it is elected officials. Sometimes it is the business community or the police. It also refers to homeless service providers in some instances.

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Hawaii Progress: Views From an Outsider

Recently, Hawaii released data in their progress towards ending homelessness. Hawaii (the Big Island), Maui and Kauai all posted decreases. Oahu more or less stayed the same, but perhaps because of improved counting methods in their Point in Time Count. As an outsider, I want to focus a bit on what they were able to achieve on the Big Island. Having visited Hilo and Kona several times over the past couple years, I want to share some observations of what I think the difference makers have been to see a greater than 30% reduction there. And if you are unfamiliar with the Hawaii landscape by way of geography and policies, this reduction is truly extraordinary.

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