Des Moines

JOIN US ONSaturday, October 27, 2018

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IHYC is a community based organization partner of YSS, Inc. based in Ames, Iowa.

OUR MISSION

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC) work to eliminate homelessness among children, youth and families in Central Iowa. We believe, with support and assistance, homeless individuals and families can live independently, attain self-sufficiency, and break the cycle of poverty.

WHO WE SERVE

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC) offers a variety of programs and facilities that teach homeless youth ages 16-25 to live independently and become self-sufficient. The youth we serve are non-system involved, meaning that they are not placed or directly supported by a governmental payment agency. IHYC is often a last resort for older runaway and homeless youth who have exhausted community resources, family and friends.

ABOUT YSS

YSS is headquartered I Ames and works hard to provide prevention, education, treatment, and residential services to children, youth and families all across Iowa. YSS works to give children, teens, and young adults the opportunity to find their voice, make healthy choices, feel safe and secure, learn life skills, heal with compassion, grow their confidence and together stand strong.

ABOUT OUR YOUTH

We work with youth ages 16-21 or up through age 25 if parenting or pregnant. We work with youth of all ethnic and societal backgrounds who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless. We call all youth living in or using our programs “participants” because all of our programs  are voluntary, which means no clients come to us from the Department of Human Services (DHS) placements. We do not receive government funding for taking in clients.

IHYC CORE GOALS

We help homeless youth successfully transition into adulthood through 5 key focus areas: Education; Employment; Life Skills; Safe Housing; Positive Community Engagement.

ABOUT OUR PROGRAMS

YOUTH OPPORTUNITY CENTER

The Youth Opportunity Center is located at 612 Locust Street in Downtown Des Moines. The YOC includes: drop-in center; commercial kitchen with a daily meal program; laundry and shower facilities; art studio; computer lab; therapy and counseling rooms; 9 emergency bed units for transition-age youth.

STREET OUTREACH

A hub of crisis counseling, service referrals and emergency needs fulfillment. Our youth advocates are committed to meeting youth where they are in life, and assisting them in taking the first steps to self-sufficiency and a successful future.

DROP-IN CENTER

Serves as a safe place for youth, and is open daily for showers, laundry, donation center access, service referrals and interaction with staff and volunteers. In the center, youth may access a computer lab and art studio, which holds regular classes taught by volunteers for our youth participants.

DAILY MEAL PROGRAM

Free nutritious meals are available daily to all homeless or at-risk youth ages 16-21. Lunch is served at 12 p.m. and dinner is served at 5 p.m.

EMERGENCY BED PROGRAM

The YOC has 9 low-barrier single bed units available for youth ages 18-21. Youth may stay for up to 30 days while working with youth advocates to meet their immediate needs and to plan their next step towards self-sufficiency.

SUPPORTIVE HOUSING PROGRAM

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers Transitional Living Program offers youth safe housing and a chance at so much more. A case manager works with each youth to set and achieve goals related to education, employment, life skills, safe housing and positive community engagement. Staff members provide support, information and referrals 24 hours a day.

LIGHTHOUSE TRANSITIONAL LIVING PROGRAM

The Lighthouse Transitional Living Program provides services to 10  homeless pregnant and/or parenting young mothers, ages 16-25, and their children. Youth can live in the facility for up to 24 months as they work on education, employment, life skills, positive community engagement, pre and post-natal care and safe housing. The Lighthouse can also house one homeless family in its emergency shelter bed.

RAPID REHOUSING

Twelve youth ages 18-22 can move into their own stable housing quicker with IHYC’s Rapid Rehousing Program. Youth are able to live in their own apartment while still receiving support on a sliding scale. While in the program, youth work to obtain stable employment at a livable wage and achieve overall self-sufficiency.

AFTERCARE

As part of a statewide network, Iowa Homeless Youth Centers Aftercare Services Network helps address the needs of young adults who, after reaching the age of 18 while in foster care, are on their own. Assistance and support in developing and achieving individual goals and links to other community resources are available for young people between the ages of 18-21 who are facing the challenges of becoming self-sufficient adults.

Aftercare can help youth who are: a former foster care recipient who may have received services in a family foster home, group home or through a DHS supported independent living arrangement; 18 years old, but not yet 21 years old and left foster care at age 17 1/2 or older and is currently living in Iowa.

POST-SECODARY EDUCATION RETENTION PROGRAM (PSERP)

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers Post-Secondary Education Retention Program (PSERP) is an initiative in partnership with United Way of Central Iowa that assists young adults ages 18-25 with successfully completing their post-secondary education. This includes a two year associate’s degree or certificate of completion from a trade program.

IMMEDIATE CHALLENGES FACING HOMELESS YOUTH

+ You have no place safe to sleep at night
+ You don’t know when/from where your next meal comes
+ You’re hungry and have no energy
+ You’re dirty and have no clean clothes
+ You’re sick and have no doctor
+ You’re pregnant or parenting with no support/child care

LONG-TERM CHALLENGES FACING HOMELESS YOUTH

+ Mental, Physical and Sexual Abuse
+ Long Term Foster Care or Juvenile Justice
+ Mental Illness
+ Behavioral Issues
+ Developmental Delay
+ School Failure
+ Substance Abuse
+ Unemployment
+ Health Problems
+ Victimization
+ Legal Issues
+ Few Sources of Positive Support and Guidance
+ Young Parent or Pregnancy
+ Social Stigma