100 Day Challenge Final Results
Rachael Victoria, Marketing Intern
Last year, there were 443 young adults in Louisville who were homeless. They spent their days on the streets with no roof over their head, no heat or air conditioning, and no bed to sleep in. Earlier this year, the Coalition for the Homeless partnered with the Aftercare Program at Home of the Innocents for the 100 Day Challenge. The challenge: to house 100 young adults, ages 18 to 24, by November 8.
The press conference to announce the final results of the challenge was held at the YMCA Safe Place on November 9 by the Mayor of Louisville, Greg Fischer. Mayor Fischer commented on the young adult homelessness problem across America, saying “we aren’t a rich country if we aren’t looking after each other.” He encouraged the city of Louisville to help with his goal of ending youth homelessness by the year 2020.
With a total of 112 young adults in Louisville housed, the 100 Day Challenge exceeded expectations!
Shannon Derrick, Associate Director of the Aftercare Program, says, “We found homes for 20 of the 100 young adults from the Challenge, through our Aftercare Program.” The Home’s Aftercare program is a service we provide to homeless young adults in our community where they can get help with housing, employment, health and mental care, and food and clothing needs. The Home was able to house one additional young adult through our Therapeutic Loving foster Care and Adoption program (TLC).
Derrick is working closely with The Coalition for the Homeless, Louisville Metro Police Department, Safe Place, TAYLRD and Family Health Centers to end youth homelessness, one housing placement at a time. “While the number of youth and young adults housed is important, the more important result is the system changes that have come out of the challenge that will help improve the options for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness,” stated Derrick.
Mark Pence, an employee of The Coalition for the Homeless who has been homeless himself, stated at the press conference, “This is not something we can solve as youth; we need elders to help us.” The Coalition for the Homeless along with Safe Place hires people who “are homeless or have experienced being homeless as a young adult,” says Natalie Harris, Executive Director of The Coalition for the Homeless. To make sure our Aftercare participants are career ready, we also help with employment by conducting mock job interviews, finding and applying for job listings, and updating and editing resumes. This is just a part of what we do to help end youth homelessness in Louisville.
If you would like to help with ending youth homelessness in Louisville, visit louhomeless.org to get involved or contact Shannon Derrick, Associate Director of Aftercare at Home of the Innocents, at Sderrick@homeoftheinnocents.org.