Date

5-2020

Document Type

Capstone Project (Campus-Only Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Department

Health and Human Services

Abstract

Youth experiencing homelessness have a difficult time accessing services due to a lack of knowledge of available resources in the community. The Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County (CAB) is a non-profit organization that is made up of six different anti-poverty programs that focus on meeting the needs of under-resourced individuals. The Youth Homeless Response Team (YHRT) is a collaboration between CAB and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education that was funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program works to connect unaccompanied at-risk youth to services they need to be successful in life. The two-part project was a comprehensive outreach plan developed to raise awareness of available resources and program services that were provided to the homeless youth. The first component of the project consisted of the development of marketing materials that included a bilingual program brochure. The second component consisted of an outreach evaluation used to identify what outreach events were most successful during different months of the year. As a result, YHRT has experienced an influx of referrals since the brochures were first distributed to the community. The outreach evaluation also served as an organizational tool for staff members to keep track of the frequency and effectiveness of outreach, and the locations that attract the most youth. It is recommended that YHRT plan outreach events throughout the entire Santa Cruz County, keep close connections with school staff, and include more incentives during outreach events.

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