♥ CloseKnit has a breakthrough approach for addressing youth homelessness—love. Everyone needs love—and young people who are fending for themselves with no stable place to call home especially need love. Of course they also need a roof, a diploma and a job, but what they most need is a caring adult whose ongoing support will set them up for success.
And here’s the thing: those caring people are already in their lives. They’re the adults they turn to that first night they can’t sleep at home—their best friend’s mom, their neighbor, the cousin who lets them crash on a basement couch.... Prior to the pandemic, the youth homelessness response in Minnesota could only provide housing for a quarter of the youth in need. If we are to meet the surging need, helping stabilize existing informal hosting arrangements is imperative!
In a state known for glaring racial disparities, this work requires a strong racial equity lens. Three fourths of Minnesota's young people facing homelessness are Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC)--and the supportive adults in their lives are often also in underestimated and under-resourced BIPOC communities. A racially equitable response requires honoring and investing in these existing caring connections.
Through the drop-in centers that pilot our approach, our peer-reviewed research and national presentations, CloseKnit is pioneering strategies to strengthen informal hosting arrangements. We believe these relationships have staying power, and we're catalyzing system change in order to invest in them!
We invite you to join CloseKnit in making real change! ♥