Ending Homelessness for Youth with Children

Joanne Kosciolek
by Joanne Kosciolek | Apr 03, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

At Aeon, we believe in a just Saint Paul. A just Saint Paul is a city that offers all people opportunities to do well and improve their lives. Saint Paul also benefits from investments in the people who make the city their home – thriving and successful people make a thriving and successful city.

To that end, Aeon’s idea for Saint Paul is to invest in some of the city’s most vulnerable people – homeless youth with children. Specifically, Aeon wants $1,000,000 to go towards building 40 safe and supportive apartment homes for homeless youth who have children.

Homelessness continues to rise in Saint Paul and across the state. Preliminary findings from Wilder Research found nearly 1,200 homeless youth in the state, and most experts believe the actual number is much higher. Homelessness is a severe burden and dangerous situation. For homeless young adults who have children to care for, this strain is particularly severe. Yet many youth struggle with these burdens – nearly 300 of the 1,200 homeless youth counted have children. The strain and trauma of homelessness is felt both by the young adults and their children. According to the Institute of Child Development, traumatic experiences such as poverty and homelessness in early childhood can follow a child through life affecting learning, relationships, and mental and physical health. These challenges can also increase the risks of intergenerational poverty.

There is a solution to these problems: provide homeless youth with homes, stability, and support. As a leader in providing and managing affordable apartments in the Twin Cities, Aeon is in a prime position to create the needed apartments for homeless youth with children. We are working to create a new model for serving this population in St. Paul, with the YMCA as our potential service partner. A Forever Saint Paul Challenge grant would support the completion of this property, ending homelessness for approximately 80-100 youth and children per year.

About You

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About You

First Name

Joanne

Last Name

Kosciolek

City

County

Country

United States

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Aeon

Organization Website

Organization Phone

612-341-3148

Organization Address

901 North 3rd Street, Suite 150

City

Minneapolis

Organization Country

United States

Your idea

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Title of your idea

Ending Homelessness for Youth with Children

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

At Aeon, we believe in a just Saint Paul. A just Saint Paul is a city that offers all people opportunities to do well and improve their lives. Saint Paul also benefits from investments in the people who make the city their home – thriving and successful people make a thriving and successful city.
To that end, Aeon’s idea for Saint Paul is to invest in some of the city’s most vulnerable people – homeless youth with children. Specifically, Aeon wants $1,000,000 to go towards building 40 safe and supportive apartment homes for homeless youth who have children.
Homelessness continues to rise in Saint Paul and across the state. Preliminary findings from Wilder Research found nearly 1,200 homeless youth in the state, and most experts believe the actual number is much higher. Homelessness is a severe burden and dangerous situation. For homeless young adults who have children to care for, this strain is particularly severe. Yet many youth struggle with these burdens – nearly 300 of the 1,200 homeless youth counted have children. The strain and trauma of homelessness is felt both by the young adults and their children. According to the Institute of Child Development, traumatic experiences such as poverty and homelessness in early childhood can follow a child through life affecting learning, relationships, and mental and physical health. These challenges can also increase the risks of intergenerational poverty.
There is a solution to these problems: provide homeless youth with homes, stability, and support. As a leader in providing and managing affordable apartments in the Twin Cities, Aeon is in a prime position to create the needed apartments for homeless youth with children. We are working to create a new model for serving this population in St. Paul, with the YMCA as our potential service partner. A Forever Saint Paul Challenge grant would support the completion of this property, ending homelessness for approximately 80-100 youth and children per year.

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Unfortunately, there are very few resources available for youth and young adults who find themselves homeless. Across the entire state, there are currently six homeless drop-in centers, 108 emergency shelter beds, and about 600 units at transitional living programs and permanent supportive housing. This leaves hundreds of young people in the state without access even to emergency shelter. There are even fewer resources available for homeless youth with children. While providing affordable homes and support for people who need them is not, in itself, a surprising solution it is one that has not been completed often for homeless young adults. By providing apartment homes and stability we would also work to end a cycle of intergenerational poverty for young Saint Paul families.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

This development will make a profound difference to some of Saint Paul’s young residents, serving about 80-100 youth and children experiencing homelessness per year. This benefit is easy to understand – how can anyone succeed if they do not have a safe home? When homeless young people and their children gain a safe and stable base, they are able to focus on higher goals such as improving educational achievement, employment, and parenting skills. Aeon will support these goals, supporting youth and helping them make the most of their potential.

Creating affordable apartments for homeless youth also benefits the surrounding community. These include: reducing strain on emergency resources, strengthening local economies, and preparing a strong and better educated future workforce.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

This idea will be long-term and easily recognizable as Aeon will create a physical space within Saint Paul. Specifically, we plan to create quality apartments where young people and their children can feel safe and regain stability. In the process, we also hope to spark reinvestment in a Saint Paul neighborhood between Snelling Ave and Highway 280 (final site to be determined).

Not only would this property end homelessness for about 80-100 youth per year, by creating a model supportive property to meet the needs of homeless youth with children, this idea would be replicable throughout the metro. In addition, we believe seeing homeless youth better able to care for their children and becoming assets to their community would serve as a powerful inspiration for other Saint Paul residents.

chantalchantelle2013 chantalchantelle2013 said: Homeless children should also be adopted because they really need help and guidance. - YOR Health about this Competition Entry. - 2551 days ago read more >

Joanne Kosciolek updated this Competition Entry. - 2856 days ago

Joanne Kosciolek updated this Competition Entry. - 2857 days ago

Joanne Kosciolek updated this Competition Entry. - 2861 days ago

Joanne Kosciolek submitted this idea. - 2861 days ago