Homeless Youth Outreach
Our Homeless Youth Outreach program maintains support to street youth with outreach, food, crisis intervention, counseling, medication clinic supports and follow-through care. The goal: to improve youth-protective factors, promote their physical safety and boost social and emotional competence.
KBH engages street youth where they are (libraries, warming centers, the woods, schools, etc.) and helps identify goals, build skills and identify youth competency, as well as safety gaps or challenges. Without such supports, the problems of area street youth will negatively impact many social, educational, workforce and family systems - and for years to come.The Youth Outreach Program Coordinator uses the ACLSA to engage and assess youth challenges, risks and skill gaps.
KBH’s Youth Outreach program provides for:
- Family outreach to prevent out-of-home placements: When youth are still at home but at-risk, the YOPC will review and provide options related to in-home counseling, outpatient counseling, mediation, and informal host/kinship placement or respite plans in order to promote family integration. When youth have already left their homes, the YOPC will assess their age, willingness to contact their parents, type of communication with parents, what the youth want, and what would it take to reunify.
- Case management: Youth living on the street receive case management from the YOPC.
- Crisis intervention support: The YOPC provides each youth with after-hours crisis contact information, obtains a copy of existing crisis plans (for youth that have them), and verifies that the information is current. The YOPC will work with youth and family, friends, other professionals, etc. to create a plan when one is needed. De-escalation techniques are used in the shelter where possible. After-hours crisis intervention in the youth shelter is provided through KBH’s on-call procedures by the KBH Program Director and/or Program Administrator. Through an MOU with KBH, Crisis and Counseling provides additional crisis supports both as back-up to the shelter and for unsheltered youth.
- Mental health, substance abuse and/or sexual identity support: Youth’s needs for mental health, substance abuse, and sexual identity support are assessed at intake. KBH employs a “no wrong door” approach that allows intakes to be done at different locations and staff, greatly facilitating access to services.
- Referral to/coordination with other services: The YO coordinator works closely with the McKinney-Vento homeless youth liaison at the youths’ schools to help them re-enroll, enroll in a different school, or complete homework assignments while they are living at the shelter until they move into permanent housing. Staff work with primary care physicians, or (if they come from further away and will be staying longer) will help them obtain outpatient services. Staff also links youth to counseling or other services identified in their individual plan.
The Youth Outreach Coordinator has received HMIS training and is currently entering data directly. KBH staff also enters HMIS data on youth staying in the emergency shelter and for other KBH homeless programs.
If you are a Maine youth in an unstable living condition, call 399-2143 for assistance.
For more information about KBH’s Homeless Youth Outreach Program contact the Access Center at 1-888-322-2136.
Funding for the Homeless Youth Outreach Program provided in part by:
Bank of Maine Charitable Foundation
Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust
Skowhegan Savings Bank