The City of Rockford received a lot of praise when it effectively eliminated veteran homelessness. Rockford leaders are trying to do the same thing when it comes to youth homelessness. They’re ramping up their efforts, which began with a meeting Wednesday afternoon.
The coalition is a combined force of various agencies, like Rosecrance, Rememdies, and the Rockford Community Action Agency. In the last two months of last year, they recorded number of 59 youths who were considered homeless in Rockford. The homeless youths they are targeting are 16 to 24 year olds, who don’t live with their parents or guardians.
Rockford Community Action Housing Advocate Angie Walker says the coalition has been able to house 19 of them using local resources in the first month of this year.
“We found that, when dealing with the veteran and chronic homelessness issue, that working with partners is something you have to do,” said Walker. “It’s not just [something] one agency can take on by themselves. It’s definitely a group effort and we need as much help as we can to get these goals met.”
“I used to feel that people looked down on us a lot and just didn’t care, but they do,” said homeless teen, Brittany Ellis.
Rockford is the first city to record functional zero chronic and veteran homelessness. The coalition hopes next year that zero could be applied to youth homelessness.
To participate in the survey, youth can text “survey” or “help” to 779-208-0710. Otherwise, they can visit a website to take the survey here.