Creating a Holistic Response to Youth Homelessness

Friday, July 17, 2020 9:00am - 10:30am CDT

People need other people to thrive—and that includes youth facing homelessness. By naming “permanent connections” as a core outcome, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Framework to End Youth Homelessness recognizes the importance of ongoing attachments to families (as defined by youth), schools, communities, and other positive social networks. Of the four core outcomes, you may be surprised to learn that youth and young adults name “permanent connections” and “social-emotional well-being” as the two they consider most important—even more important than “stable housing” and “education/employment.”

The youth homelessness response has listened—and is beginning to integrate support for permanent connections into program-level strategies and even, in some cases, into community-level goals. Bolstering a young person’s connections to adults who can provide long-term support (often including housing) is a cost-effective upstream prevention strategy that especially deserves attention now, given the projected increase in youth homelessness due to Covid-19. Investing in supportive connections with caring adults already in the young person’s community is also a culturally responsive intervention that centers and leans on the wisdom of young people, particularly black, brown, indigenous, and queer youth and young adults. 

But can permanent connections be measured? Of course funders want to know their efforts are resulting in significant and concrete progress in addressing youth and young adult homelessness. And, yes, programs and communities can measure all four outcomes in meaningful ways that drive service delivery and community-wide learning.

This interactive webinar will delve into the latest research, highlight a local pilot site, and examine recently published measurement metrics to support your partnerships with local providers. Come learn how to mobilize existing resources to build a holistic response that honors the needs that young people facing homelessness have for shelter, jobs and diplomas—as well as for ongoing supportive connections and an overall sense of well-being.

The webinar will facilitate community building among attendees through small-group breakout sessions. This webinar is open to MCF-members and others working within philanthropic organizations. Call-in details will be in your confirmation email.


Josephine Pufpaff, National Director of Systems Improvement and Youth Homelessness for the Youth Collaboratory, is co-author of the recently released Youth Outcomes Project, which recommends measurement tools for the four federal core outcomes based on the current evidence base and wisdom garnered from diverse experts and stakeholders from across the country.

Jacqueline White is founder and director CloseKnit, a research, training, and advocacy organization based in Minnesota that champions the connections youth facing homelessness already have with caring adults in their networks. She is co-author of the peer-reviewed study published in the April 2020 Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal “Beyond a Bed: Supportive Connections Forged Between Youth Facing Homelessness and Adult Hosts.”  

This webinar is sponsored by:
Heading Home Minnesota Funders Collaborative & Minnesota Council on Foundations

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