A Place 4 Me, which is a community-wide movement to prevent and end youth and young adult homelessness in Cuyahoga County, plans to open a drop-in center for youth and young adults experiencing housing instability in late 2021. Moving a step closer to that reality, A Place 4 Me recently announced that it chose Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM) to operate the drop-in center. The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland is a longtime partner and supporter of A Place 4 Me.
LMM was recommended by the drop-in center core planning team, which is led in partnership with young adult subject matter experts – young people whose lived expertise fuels their passion for the work. With 50 percent of its membership made up of young adult leaders, the team uses an equitable decision-making structure that ensures young adult experts are partners in every step and have the ultimate say in key decisions. The team also developed a set of core values integral to the vision of the drop-in center: youth leadership and partnership, racial and LGBTQ equity, hospitality, highly relational service model, and low-barrier approach.
LMM’s alignment with these core values and proposed approach for operationalizing them within the drop-in center were key factors in the selection process. Other important criteria included capacity for innovation, collaboration, and implementation of strategies to authentically share power with young people.
A drop-in center has long been a priority of A Place 4 Me and has been identified as a need by young people experiencing housing instability. The center is intended for young people between the ages of 16 and 24 experiencing housing instability. In addition to meeting immediate and basic needs in a respectful manner that honors the dignity of every young person, the drop-in center will serve as a critical access point to housing resources as well as other services to support the social, emotional and physical well-being of young people. Drop-in centers are essential elements of a systemic approach to prevent and end youth homelessness.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.
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