Public-private partnership launches first study on direct cash transfers to tackle homelessness among young adults. The first project begins in New York. NYC nonprofit agencies can apply for funding to recruit staff and implement the pilot program.



A collaborative team of Chapin Room to University of Chicago and Point Source Youth developed the project on the basis of a multi-stakeholder research and design process. Point Source Youth will oversee and support program design and implementation by a local non-profit organization(s), Chapin Room will lead the research and evaluation, and UpTogether will manage money transfers to participants through its online platform. The three organizations will work together to develop the evidence and infrastructure for an evolving political solution to our country’s youth homelessness crisis.

New York City non-profit organizations serving youth and young adults are encouraged to consider applying to the Call for proposals announced today for the implementation of the programming and recruitment processes of project support.

Young adults with lived experience of homelessness co-designed the project, offering critical perspectives on how it can help end youth homelessness. Each participant can make multiple choices regarding payment frequency, payment options (e.g. Venmo, PayPal, direct deposit, debit card) and request a larger upfront payment to enter the accommodation. Optional services that meet young people where they are will accompany the financial support. These include coaching, peer support, links to care, financial coaching and navigation to housing.

The project’s flexible approach aims to improve stable housing and the well-being of young people by providing them with the means to afford the types of housing they choose and the support needed to invest in their own goals, education and career development. The collaborative project team will work with youth and partners in New York City to ensure that the design and delivery of the program reflects the needs and preferences of youth who have experienced homelessness, particularly Black, Indigenous, Latinx and LGBTQ.

A rigorous evaluation will compare the results and experiences of young people participating in the project to those of young people who receive smaller allowances to complete surveys and who have continued access to traditionally available services, such as shelters and existing housing programs. Subject to the results of funding and evaluation, after the first year of evaluation, partners will use the initial results to improve and expand the program and evaluation to a much larger number of young people. The expanded assessment will follow the results with a larger sample for a period of up to three years. In addition to improving outcomes for young people, the project aims to achieve cost savings by reducing the use of shelters, preventing the involvement of legal and health systems associated with homelessness, and ultimately increasing the number of people living in homelessness. long-term income potential of youth through education and career paths.

The initiative is funded by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (for evaluation support), the Block-Leavitt Foundation, Melville Charitable Trust, Robin Hood Foundation and the NYC Fund to End Youth and Family Homelessness, a donor collaboration hosted by FJC – A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds. It also involves collaboration with several New York government agencies, including the mayor’s office, the Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI), the Continuum of Care (CoC) and its Youth Action Board, the Department of Youth & Community. Development (DYCD), and the Department of Social Services (DSS).

“A recovery for all of us requires adopting innovative solutions to our most pressing challenges,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The study on direct cash transfers, designed in collaboration with Chapin Room and Point Source Youth, will help uplift youth and strengthen our commitment to end youth homelessness once and for all. “

New York City is where many young people in cities across the country seek hope and a home, especially LGBTQI youth who disproportionately experience physical and mental health challenges, and higher rates of homelessness and of unemployment ”, declared First Lady Chirlane McCray, who heads the NYC Unity Project and is president of the Mayor’s Fund. “Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to providing the social and economic supports essential to the long-term success and stability of young people in our city.

“Connecting homeless youth to the proven success of cash transfers is incredibly exciting and we are proud to support this work,” noted Aimee Hendrigan, Executive Vice President of the Melville Charitable Trust. “We believe this is an efficient, effective and scalable model, and we are particularly pleased that it has been co-designed by young people who have experienced homelessness.”

“The path to stability begins with trust – trust in an individual’s ability to be their first and foremost resource. And secondarily, trust in their community and support systems. The money transfer project can provide this type of community trust for those like me – Asylum seekers and internally displaced people, who are not fortunate enough to have this type of support while navigating homelessness or who are at risk of losing a housing in one of the hardest places to find and afford housing in any country. United States. The evaluation and evidence-gathering processes underlying this project have been and must continue to be guided by the continued engagement of those affected. “- Jha’asryel-Akquil Bishop, Co-Chair of NYC Continuum of Care, Executive of the National Youth Forum on Homelessness and Co-Founder of Streetlives

“Without a home, it may be impossible to imagine and build a future. All who care about building a better and more equitable future must care about preventing and ending the youth homelessness crisis. To do this, we must ensure that all young people, especially the young people of BIPOC and LGTBQ, have the resources they need to build and share this future. It starts with a safe and stable place to feel at home. The NYC Fund to End Youth & Family Homelessness is proud to be the lead funder of this innovative work as we seek to advance racial, gender and LGTBTQ equity through housing justice. ” John kimble, Senior Advisor to the NYC Fund to End Youth & Family Homelessness

“I am more than delighted to announce the Trust the initiative of young people. Young people are experts in their own lives – period. A solution that works to end youth homelessness provides homeless youth, especially historically marginalized gays, trans, black, indigenous, youth of color, directly and unconditionally, all the resources they need. We need to provide direct money and directed support to young people so that young people can get out of youth homelessness and thrive in life. “- Larry cohen, Co-Founder and CEO, Point Source Youth

“The Trust the initiative of young people represents a major opportunity to gather evidence and improve systemic solutions to prevent and end youth homelessness. Direct cash transfers are based on a strong international evidence base and recognize people’s actions. It is time to assess this type of support for young people who, through no fault of their own, do not have the same access to resources to meet the basic needs that many of their peers have during the transitions to age. adult. Providing direct financial assistance with supports to young people has the potential to empower them to invest in their own success while helping to address racial inequalities stemming from the legacy of injustice. “- Matthieu morton, researcher and principal investigator of the study, Chapin Room to University of Chicago

Additional information
In just one night, nearly 4,500 unaccompanied youth and parents (ages 18-24) are homeless in New York City. While NYC has invested in a strong crisis response system over the past few years, helping to increase the number of accommodation beds and access to reception centers, a youth homelessness system assessment stressed that critical gaps remain. These include flexible, equitable and cost-effective interventions to help young people escape homelessness and thrive. To this end, direct cash transfers offer a promising solution.

Direct cash transfer programs are supported by a large international database. Numerous evaluations show that they reduce poverty, improve well-being and increase education and employment. Contrary to popular belief, studies show that transferring money to people facing adversity does not lead to misuse of money, increased substance use, or reduced motivation to work. In fact, the evaluations found that beneficiaries mainly spend cash assistance on basic needs, that the financial support has helped people engage in education and productive employment, and that these programs tend reduce risky behavior and negative health outcomes.

A small animated preview explains how direct cash transfers work for homeless youth.

A recent national study found that about 1 in 10 people between the ages of 18 and 25 experienced some form of homelessness in a year. These young people face a very high risk of sexual or other exploitation and health problems, and unstable housing disrupts their ability to thrive in education and employment. Most of these youth are Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and LGBTQ.

The share of young adults living with their parents recently came of age (52%) for the first time since the Great Depression. Millions of young Americans stay with their families or rely on their financial support for their basic needs; for millions of others it is not an option. The legacy of racism, LGBTQ discrimination, structural disadvantage and the corresponding unequal distribution of wealth mean that many young people lack a stable sense of belonging during the transition to adulthood. In New York and nationally, escalating housing costs and rising income inequalities over the past two decades have forced young people to invest more in secure housing and fully exploit their potential.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed significant systemic cracks and inequalities in our support systems, it has magnified the toll of food and housing insecurity among young people. Research shows that job losses and economic hardship amid the pandemic disproportionately affect young people of color. To achieve comprehensive and sustainable solutions, we need to develop and test new initiatives.

SOURCE Point Source Jeunesse

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