OUR CURRENT FOCUS: Youth in Crisis in The southwest suburbs of the twin cities
On January 4, 2016, the Open Hands Foundation opened home for youth in crisis to meet the emergency shelter, support, and counseling needs of youth in crisis. Watch a video about this issue in our community here.
On any given night as many as nine young people are homeless in our own southwest metro community, a conservative estimate because of how difficult it is to track homelessness. Where as an estimated 4,080 Minnesota youth experience homelessness a night. This includes an estimated 2,211 minor youth ages 17 and under and 1,869 young adults age 18 through 21. Experts estimate that a 6-bed youth shelter for 10-17 year olds could serve up to 450 students annually. School counselors, county social workers, police and emergency response teams have told us that addressing the increase in youth homelessness in our suburbs is a high priority. Homeless youth 21 and younger are the age group most likely to be homeless, and experience a higher range of being sexually abused and involvement in prostitution because of there vulnerability.
( Stat Source: “Homelessness in MN, Key findings from the 2012 statewide survey.” Wilder Research, September 2013.)
In 2015, the Open Hands Foundation created a partnership with a program partner, and Westwood Community Church to provide a much-needed resource for youth right here in our own community.
- Westwood Community Church provides the facility, a wonderful house right next to the church on highway 41, as well as ongoing maintenance.
- OpenHands Foundation provides funding and volunteers.
- The program partner provides all professional services.
Our Vision: A bed for every child
Our vision is to help these young people stabilize and transition to a permanent solution, the home will be a safe and supportive environment for youth, offering:
- 24/7 crisis shelter.
- Food, Safety, and a Warm Bed.
- Youth, parent, and family counseling.
- A first call for help for law enforcement, schools, community organizations
Our Goal: Growth and Sustainability
Our goal is that by 2017 we will have developed a replicable, scalable model that will ensure that all at risk, homeless youth in the Southwest metro have an option for support and a warm, safe bed and space when in crisis.
OUR NEED: Funding and Resources
Join us in providing the $550,000 required to operate this home each year by making a donation to the Open Hands Foundation. 100% of dollars raised will support this project. Donate here.