July 24, 2015

Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland helps advance plan to prevent and end youth homelessness in Cuyahoga County

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland is committed to ending homelessness, and has recently focused on the issue of youth homelessness. 

Cuyahoga County’s A Place 4 Me initiative is a partnership of the YWCA of Greater Cleveland, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services, FrontLine Service and the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative. Together, the partners of A Place 4 Me believe every young person belongs and deserves a place to feel safe and comfortable; a place to feel welcomed and loved by family and friends; a place to dream about the future.

Throughout a 10-month period in 2014 and 2015, the partners of A Place 4 Me engaged nearly 70 individuals from 30 partner agencies. And, together, they have worked to create a strategic plan to prevent and end youth homelessness.

The strategic plan:

  • Prioritizes the needs of youth and young adults ages 14 to 24 in Cuyahoga County who are: 1) Unaccompanied by a parent, legal guardian or spouse; AND 2) Lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence
  • Emphasizes homelessness prevention for youth leaving the foster care system and acknowledges the key role of the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services in supporting successful transitions to adulthood for these youth
  • Reflects the diverse perspectives of the planning members, especially the young people who generously shared their experiences and ideas to improve our system
  • Represents a shared commitment and vision to implementing these strategies to better serve youth
  • Is ambitious, comprehensive and drives at greater coordination and alignment of services to restore housing stability for young people in Cuyahoga County

Now fully developed and blessed at a July 9 convening, the published strategic plan is moving into action as the partners of A Place 4 Me work together to bring it to life. 

More information about this comprehensive effort is featured in the podcast of the July 9 edition of the Sound of Ideas, an hour-long public affairs program by Cleveland's NPR affiliate, WCPN. This edition of the Sound of Ideas extensively covered the issue of youth homelessness and the local plan to end it. The panel featured the following A Place 4 Me partners:

  • Gary Stanger, immediate past executive director and current adviser to the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
  • Tasha Jones, youth contributor to A Place 4 Me
  • Robert L. Fischer, Ph.D., co-director of the Center on Urban Poverty at Case Western Reserve University
  • Kate Lodge, program director of A Place 4 Me
  • Angela D’Orazio, program officer for the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
Additional information about the A Place 4 Me initiative and its work to prevent and end youth homelessness is available at http://bit.ly/aplace4me

 

  

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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