What Is YouthLink?
YouthLink is an organization, which caters to homeless youths, aged 16 to 21. The center provides for their medical care, laundry and shower needs, clothing, and food. Most of these youths come from federal housing or foster care and have stayed the maximum allowed in those programs. Some were also driven out by their own parents because of parental mental health dilemmas, abuse, and alcohol or drug use. Others leave their homes because their house is too crowded for them. Still, others are homeless because they have alcohol or drugs problems or they have mental health issues.
Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, YouthLink aims to empower the youths so that they can change their future through a supportive, responsive, respectful, and safe community. Each youth in the center’s program is empowered so that he/she can gain control of his/her life by promoting behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and social competencies. Each youth is trained to be self-sufficient by providing him/her with opportunities where he/she can decide on his/her own. He/she is also encouraged to have a positive sense of connectedness with his/her community, support network, family, and/or school.
The YouthLink Program
YouthLink has Project Offstreets, which is actually a drop-in center where the youth is offered a safe place where he/she is provided with basic healthcare, assistance in searching for a job, and referrals for long-term housing.
The program also cares for the youth’s physical and mental health. A team of health professionals provides services for illness and injury checkups, strep tests, STD treatment and testing, immunizations, pregnancy testing, and birth control. Counselors also take care of the youth’s mental health by helping young people who have homicidal or suicidal tendencies, friend, and family conflicts, experienced, or are experiencing abuse, or depression problems.
Young people, aged 15 to 20, are provided with intensive case management if they are enrolled in any public schools or alternative schools in the city of Minneapolis. The center also provides a tutoring program so that these young people can obtain their GEDs. Communication skills, eviction prevention, resumes, employment readiness, and budgeting are also part of the Independent Living Skills program offered to these young individuals.
YouthLink provides a total of 76 apartments in the St. Barnabas and Archdale areas, and 42 apartments in Nicollet Square. With the help of Lutheran Social Services and Hearth Connection Youth Mobile Team, YouthLink is able to offer intensive case management such as food services, employment assistance, and mental health services to 25 youths in different sites in the Twin Cities.
Address: 41 North 12th St., Minneapolis, MN 55403