United Way of the Midlands formed the Youth in Transition Initiative to focus on young people, age 17 to 24, who are homeless or vulnerable to homelessness or are at risk for other poor outcomes due to a lack of social and financial support. This includes youth transitioning out of foster care or juvenile or adult justice; runaway youth; unaccompanied youth or other youth who fall through the cracks in our system of care. The movement focuses on Richland and Lexington counties.
When the movement started just two agencies were providing housing with services to youth in Richland and Lexington counties. In the last three years, there has been a dramatic expansion of housing and services including implementing youth-specific street outreach, 78 new units of shelter and housing for youth, and opening a youth drop-in center. Our Youth in Transition movement seeks and incorporates input from youth through focus groups, high school age and young adult surveys, youth participation in the Youth in Transition group and Steering Committee, and a youth leadership program which has developed into a Youth Action Board.
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