YouthLink among local homeless programs seeing success

9:51 PM, Oct 11, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - He's confident and poised and even considered a mentor, but less than year ago David was homeless.

"Being able to actually have somewhere to go at night makes it worth it," he said.

When we first talked to David he was riding buses at night to stay warm and get sleep. Less than a year later, the 20-year-old has an apartment in Minneapolis and holds down two jobs, working seven days a week to make ends meet.

He was able to do it thanks to the help of YouthLink, an organization working to end homelessness for young people.

"The issue continues to really magnify," said Dr. Heather Huesby, YouthLink's Executive Director.

She says the last year has been a good news, bad news situation. The bad news is the number of homeless teens isn't declining.

"We're right now at over 1,800 we anticipate by the end of the year close to 2,700 to 2,800, which is double what we saw last year," Huesby said.

The good news is that funding has provided more outreach workers on the streets, so more young people know about programs like YouthLink.

More good news, the number of shelter beds for teens in the Twin Cities has doubled since last year, but that number still sits at less than a hundred.

The extra shelter beds and outreach workers on the streets were made possible by a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation.

Last year, we told you about the Suburban Host Home Program, which supports families who take in homeless youth. They have since expanded their reach as well.

So, there are many good things happening in our community; however, the problem persists.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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