Inter-County Community Council’s homeless youth program aims to serve youth aged 24 and younger who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless. We serve youth in Clearwater, Pennington, East Polk, and Red Lake Counties, with the majority of our current clients residing in Pennington County.
This is a relatively new program and the outcomes and successes vary with each individual client. We aim to provide quality service to all of our clients and set them up for success as best as we can, meaning that we understand and embrace that no two clients are ever the same, so their goals should not necessarily be the same either. For most of our clients, finding gainful employment that leads to self-sufficiency is the main goal. For some, permanent supportive housing is the most appropriate option.
In our program, we are able to provide a number of different ways of support that include assistance with security deposits, first month’s rent, food support, travel expenses (gas and bus vouchers), clothing, and household/personal care items. We also have a limited number of slots for an ongoing rental subsidy for qualifying clients. Another avenue of support is the ongoing case management we provide. We are in contact with our youth clients at least twice per week. Contact is continuous and ongoing, whether it be through face to face visits, phone calls, or contact made through the agency “Inter-County Ben” Facebook page.
One of the highlights of our program so far has been with a client that we had the privilege of serving that has persevered through hardships at home. We were able to help the client with food, travel, and personal items expenses while they finished their senior year in high school. This client has since been awarded a full ride scholarship to the local University and is well on their way to a successful career. We have no doubt that this client would have found a way to survive without the program, but our small supports helped this youth have one less thing to worry about.