Register for this training a bring a friend for free (must include friend's contact information when registering).  

The issue of homeless youth is growing and defies most of our preconceived perceptions.   Did you know that 84% of homeless youth are still enrolled in school?  More often than not, society thinks of homeless youth as “invisible” and a problem to ignore.  But homeless youth are not invisible and not limited to just urban areas.  If you haven’t yet, you will likely have a homeless youth cross the threshold of your organization or certainly know of youth that are at high-risk of becoming homeless.  Do you know how to intervene?

Whether you work with youth in the urban, suburban, or rural areas of Minnesota this workshop has been developed for you.  You will leave with a better understanding of what it means to be homeless, why so many of Minnesota’s youth are finding themselves in this situation and what you can do to best help a homeless youth in your program or classroom setting. 

Learn from skilled practitioners in the field from all three geographical regions in Minnesota.  Understand some basic steps that you can take to help prevent high-risk youth from becoming homeless in the first place.  Hear from a panel of homeless or formerly homeless youth and engage in an important dialogue about reversing this alarming trend and providing the support that homeless, or high-risk for homelessness youth need. 

Agenda for the training:

12:00 to 1:00 Overview of homeless youth (Beth Holger-Ambrose)

1:10 to 2:20 Breakout sessions into urban, suburban, or rural areas (Choose 1)

2:30 to 3:30 Panel of homeless youth and open dialogue about youth homelessness

Meet the Presenters:

Beth Holger-Ambrose is the Homeless Youth Services Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Human Services-Office of Economic Opportunity. This position includes administration of federal and state funding streams, public policy and legislative work, research, evaluation, program development and the coordination of services for runaway and homeless youth in Minnesota. Prior to working at the Dept. of Human Services, Holger-Ambrose worked for Avenues for Homeless Youth and the Bridge (both in Minneapolis) with street outreach, emergency shelter, transitional living program and independent living skills programs for runaway and homeless youth.

Urban Youth Presenters:

Marney Thomas graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in 1999 and started her career as a Street Outreach Worker/ Case Manager. Since then, she has continued to work with young people who have been sexually exploited, marginalized, homeless and precariously housed. Marney has held a variety of jobs at YouthLink and most recently, supervises the Youth Opportunity Center at YouthLink. Marney is honored to have worked with young people experiencing homelessness for over 13 years and believes that collaboration is cornerstone of youth work.
Susan Pohl has nineteen years of experience working with homeless youth in the twin cities metro area. She has her Masters of Social Work and is an LGSW. She currently works for YouthLink as the Program Supervisor for Archdale and St. Barnabas apartments and Kulture Klub Collaborative as the social services coordinator. Archdale and St. Barnabas provide social services for 76 formerly homeless youth. Kulture Klub provides artistic opportunities to homeless youth while also providing inspirational experiences for artists from around the world.

Suburban Youth Presenters:

Laura Lekander is currently a Youth Support Specialist with the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Child Psychology and minors in Youth Studies and Family Violence Prevention. Laura works with youth up to the age of 23 who are homeless or living in unstable housing situations and is also currently an outreach worker through Streetworks.  Laura works at the No Barriers Youth Food Shelves throughout Hennepin County and is also a certified mediator. Before working at the YMCA Laura was a Youth Advocate at the county shelter St. Anne’s Place.
Kim O’Grady works as part of the Youth Intervention Services team at the Emma B. Howe YMCA as a Youth Support Specialist. She provides services and support to youth experiencing homelessness in Anoka and Hennepin County, primarily in the suburbs, by providing school-based outreach, street based outreach with the StreetWorks collaborative and working with a caseload of youth in both the Youth Intervention Services transitional living program and the Suburban Host Home Program of Avenues. Kim has her Associate’s Degree in Human Services.

Rural Youth Presenter:

Kathy Sauve has over 25 years of experience working with youth. For the past seven years she has been the program manager for LSS Youth Services in Brainerd providing services to runaway and homeless youth in a seven county rural service area.  She currently serves on the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless Board and the College of St Scholasitca Advisory Council bringing her wide range of experience of issues facing rural homeless youth. Kathy is from Red Rock First Nation in Ontario Canada and provides culturally specific programming for Native American youth she serves.

Conference Details:

  • September 25, 2012 from 12:00pm to 3:30pm
  • $45 for non-YIPA members, $35 for YIPA members and $15 for Promise Fellows
  • Register for this training a bring a friend for free, must include friend's information
  • Light snacks and beverages will not be provided at breaks, but vending machines are available.
  • Mounds View Community Center
  • Register Online
  • Conference Brochure and Mail-in Registration Form
  • 3.0 CEUs are preapproved by the MN Board of Social Work. YIPA will provide you with the materials you need to seek approval from your board.

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