The Issue: Homeless Young People Without Transportation
Young people experiencing homelessness rarely have reliable transportation to school or work, and many use the bus system to keep themselves warm during the night, an issue profiled by KARE 11 in 2011. A 2009 Wilder Research survey found that more than 2,500 Minnesota youth have no place to sleep on any given night. For these young people, access to regular public transportation can offer short-term relief from the elements, as well as provide stable access to education and other resources.
The Campaign: Providing One-Month Bus Passes for Youth
If 42 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then YouthLink can provide monthly, unlimited-ride bus passes for 10 YouthLink participants who are transitioning through homelessness. The young people can use these bus passes to travel to and from YouthLink, where they receive mental-health services, hot food, and medical care. They can also commute between school and work without worrying about the fare.
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YouthLink provides a safe and supportive refuge for young people who are homeless or at risk for becoming homeless. YouthLink is also the host site for the Youth Opportunity Center, uniting community partners who provide services to homeless young people under one roof with the aim to provide a comprehensive array of services and to make them more accessible for people who do not possess the resources to support mobility. Clients can come to YouthLink to satisfy their immediate needs—with a hot meal, a shower, and clean clothes—or to address larger issues with its intervention services. An onsite medical clinic helps youth access health-care services including STD and pregnancy testing, birth control, immunizations, and mental-health counseling. Additionally, YouthLink helps its clients succeed in school by offering intensive case management for students enrolled in Minneapolis public schools, GED tutoring, and an independent-living skills program.