Programs and services for youth aim to ensure they have a positive outlet for growth, safety nets during a crisis or hard times, and a support system to nativate into adulthood. We empower youth to have their voice heard and encourage them to envision what they want for their future while creating a plan to achieve it. With support, youth are able to explore educational opportunities, discover career paths, build life skills, and create a stable foundation for the future.
Youth Leadership Development (YLD)
YLD is an after-school program for middle school youth ages 11-15 to build leadership skills and conduct community service projects. Youth who are not already involved in positive after-school activities are recruited to join YLD through their school in Newport, Covington, Erlanger/ Elsmere, Campbell County, Boone County, and through community groups. Youth and their families are referred to additional services as needed.
Teen Coalition is geared toward youth who enter high school and is active in Newport High School. Teen Coalition combines service learning, community engagement, and career and college exploration for youth in high school.
Safe Place is an outreach program run by Homeward Bound Shelter. There are over 140 sites within the community with trained volunteers. Youth accessing these locations are connected immediately to safe and supportive services. Locations include fast food restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, libraries, and city buses, which all display the Safe Place sign
Youth Street Outreach
Youth Street Outreach provides street-based services to run away, homeless, and street youth who have been subjected to or are at-risk of being subjected to abuse, sexual exploitation, and severe forms of trafficking. This includes outreach, prevention, individualized assessment, service linkages, case planning, and follow-up for youth and young adults ages 16-21.
Homeward Bound Shelter & Residential
Homeward Bound Shelter is a 24-hour emergency shelter located in Covington, KY that provides a safe environment and residential treatment services for runaway, homeless, abused, neglected, and dependent youth ages 11-17. Homeward Bound Shelter is the only direct access emergency shelter for youth under 18 in Northern Kentucky. Residential services provide trauma-informed treatment for youth in custody of the Department of Community Based Services for ages 11-18.
Independent Living Program (ILP)
ILP provides comprehensive transitional living services to assist older youth in the state’s foster care system in making a successful transition to self-sufficiency by providing housing, life skills, and long-term support.
Opportunity House is an innovative initiative in Northern Kentucky to develop postsecondary education opportunities and stabilize housing for Opportunity Youth that opened August 2022. Opportunity House provides a supportive environment to young adults to reach their education and career goals which lead to a pathway to labor market success for those who traditionally experienced barriers to completing education beyond high school. The goal of Opportunity House is to reduce the challenges young adults face, including housing ultimately leading to educational success, employment, and self-sufficiency. The project entails 15 efficiency and 1 one-bedroom apartments on Northern Kentucky University’s campus with individual bathrooms and kitchenettes. In addition, there is a large group room, classroom, full kitchen, and small meeting rooms.
Why We Do It
Over the course of the 2022 school year, 21,062 students in Kentucky experienced homelessness. Over 6,000 Northern Kentucky opportunity youth (young adults aged 16-24) aren't working or in school. Studies show that youth who miss out on an early work experience are more likely to endure later unemployment and less likely to achieve higher levels of career attainment. After-school programs can support social, emotional, cognitive, and academic development, reduce risky behabiors, promote physical health, and provide a safe and supportive environment for children and youth. Source: Youth.Gov/The Annie E. Casey Foundation