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Youth Homelessness - Life Skills - Minutes for Feb 2, 2012

Minutes Youth Homelessness - Life Skills Training February 2, 2012
Vision: To work with the educational and employment sectors in our community to provide individualized, basic, survival and life skills to the homeless youth

Attended: Connie Ladd – Family Violence Project, Tony Veit – Kennebec Behavioral Health, Gloria Audet – Volunteer &Caring citizen, Ashalie Wark – Youth Move ME in Kennebec, Ruth St. Amand – Healthreach RSVP, Nancy Souza – South End Teen Center, Jackie Dupont – Hardy Girls Healthy Women, David Dickson – Captain of Salvation Army, Angela McMahon – LCSW at RSU 18 &Homeless Liaison, Audrey Booker – New Dimensions Credit Union, Caring citizen, Cindy Manson – Program Director of The Children’s Place at The Maine Children’s Home, Faye Nicholson – REM, Executive Director

~Introductions and recap of vision/goal of Life Skills Initiative

~Nancy Souza briefly explained YETE (Youth Empowerment Through Employment).

  • presently involves Waterville School youth
  • those in free lunch program eligible
  • career exploration, work-ready skill development, employment in community
  • incentives to complete program include: class credit, food, minimum wage, resume entry
Can YETE be expanded beyond Wtvl school students? How might that happen? Cost?

~Ruth St Amand spoke about RVSP's Thresholds and Decisions program which teaches a five-step decision-making model to inmates who are within a few month of their release. Through their involvement in the program, Thresholds graduates have the chance to create better lives for themselves and a safer, more productive community for us all. RSVP has interest in exploring utilizing the Thresholds model with teenagers.

~Homeless youth often difficult to identify whether they are high-functioning students in school or fearful of being approached by adults in community.

~What are the life skills homeless youth need? Not clear/concise list. Unique to each youth and dependent on their challenges, age, length of homelessness, supports available before/during/after crisis. Could be as basic as: how to get food (shopping/cooking), medical attention, social etiquette, housing.

~How might Life Skills training be provided?
Must be safe, neutral location, teen-friendly, accessible by foot

  • 2nd floor Mid –Maine Homeless Shelter? Not safe, teens choosing not to go to Warming Center
  • possibly due to feelings of safety
  • KVCAP?
  • Halcyon House? To far to walk
  • The Maine Children’s Home (where YETE meets and TPSP program located)?
  • Adult Ed with off-site location of classes? Connie Ladd has connections with Somerset County and Angela McMahon with Kennebec Adult Ed and they’ll look into possibility and report back to group
  • same location where Clearing House is
~Use of trained mentors to connect with homeless youth and be with them before/during/after connection with supports available.
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • Colby Cares group who presently work with younger kids
  • church groups like Oakland Baptist Church which is already heavily involved with homeless youth through their Backpack Program
  • Waterville Public Library’s career program (Donna Hamilton)
~Tony Viet shared info about Preble Street program in Portland, more info on if/how they are providing life skills training as a resource in their day space for homeless youth

Next mtg set for February 16. Agenda to share new info and plan for presentation to the Homeless Youth collective mtg scheduled for February 28

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