Profile for California Coalition for Youth: An Interview with A Way Home America
The California Coalition for Youth sat down with A Way Home America – virtually, at least – to find out more about this new national initiative.
What is the purpose and mission of A Way Home America?
A Way Home America (AWHA) is a national initiative to build the movement to prevent and end homelessness among young people. We are homeless youth providers, advocates, researchers, government agencies, philanthropists and young people uniting behind a common goal:
By the end of 2020, prevent and end homelessness among all youth and young adults. Ensure that homelessness among youth and young adults is rare, and if it occurs, experiences of homelessness are brief and one-time.
We are not an organization — we are an initiative with the sole purpose of ending youth homelessness. We formally launched at the beginning of June 2016, corresponding with the White House Policy Briefing on Ending Youth Homelessness. Engagement and planning around this initiative occurred over the year prior.
Who Does AWHA Serve?
The focus of AWHA is joining to speak in a collective voice and build the movement to end youth homelessness – including a particular focus on partnering with young people who have experienced homelessness as collaborators and advisors. We do not offer direct service.
Why is AWHA important?
AWHA has been gathering over the past year because we understand that we are at a critical moment to leverage national, state, and local momentum to end youth homelessness: efforts in local communities throughout the country are underway, efforts which often build on decades of experience with young people; federal agencies are addressing this issue in greater coordination than in the past; and there is increased philanthropic commitment, research focus, and public awareness.
By linking arms together in new ways across our various roles and perspectives, we leverage a once-in-a-movement opportunity to improve supports for young people and continue learning how to prevent and respond to youth homelessness in a coordinated way across communities.
How can others get involved with AWHA?
Please follow AWHA on social media and join our mailing list! Stay tuned for some upcoming tools and learning activities around the 100-Day Challenges: podcasts featuring the National Youth Forum on Homelessness, videos, and webinars. Also, approximately twice annually, AWHA has an in-person Advisory Community gathering that all are welcome to attend.
Spread the word, join the movement.
Anything new coming down the pipeline (with AWHA) that people should be on the look-out for?
AWHA is particularly excited about the launch of 100 Day Challenges, starting September 7th, in Austin, Cleveland and Los Angeles. We’ll have a number of activities to allow communities across the country to “follow the challenges” and learn alongside these great communities!
For more information and for links to our blog and social media, www.awayhomeamerica.org.