Community Shelter Board has been awarded a $6M demonstration grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to reduce youth homelessness in central Ohio.

Columbus, OH (August 23, 2018)—Measurement Resources Company (MRC) will lead a needs assessment research project to better understand youth homelessness in central Ohio. In conjunction with Community Shelter Board’s (CSB) recent $6M grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reduce homelessness among youth (age 24 and younger), MRC’s research will provide the preliminary data needed to develop a comprehensive, coordinated plan. The CSB and others have funded this research, as the federal grant will fund the implementation of the community-wide response in the form of housing and service options for these youth.

“Measurement Resources’ research will provide not only substantial data around the complex issue of youth homelessness, it will also offer valuable insights to inform our community-wide approach to help this vulnerable population,” said Sheri Chaney Jones, president, Measurement Resources Company. “We are excited about our collaboration with Community Shelter Board and many community stakeholders and supporters to accelerate positive social change on behalf of our community.”

Columbus shelters served more than 1,300 youth in 2017 alone. Additionally, more than 900 unaccompanied youth visited Star House, a drop-in center, that same year. Factors contributing to youth homelessness include child abuse, family conflict, neglect, generational poverty, and inadequate job training opportunities.

CSB’s federal award will span more than two years and will also incorporate resources from the local public and private sectors, in keeping with its longstanding tradition of public/private partnerships. Once the needs assessment research is complete, a committee of stakeholders, including representatives from local government, youth services providers, homeless service providers, foundations, and young people who have experienced homelessness, will collaborate to develop the plan. The HUD-required four-month needs assessment and planning process will begin in August and end in November 2018.

“We are eager to identify the unique characteristics and circumstances that lead to youth homelessness,” said Sheri Chaney Jones, president, Measurement Resources Company. “By having a full understanding of their experiences leading up to and throughout periods of homelessness, we’ll be able to lay the groundwork for collectively and creatively designing services that will have the most impact for the most youth.”

HUD must approve the plan prior to implementation of new project models and services for youth. Implementation is anticipated to begin in 2019. The use of the $6M award is limited to planning for and implementation of new housing and service options for youth. As a result, private sector investments will be critical to providing prevention services and meeting additional needs of this population. The federal award for youth does not diminish the need for funds to operate the current homeless system of care that serves 12,000 individuals annually through homelessness prevention, shelter, street outreach, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing.

In addition to CSB, the Youth Core Team includes Huckleberry House, The Center for Healthy Families, City of Columbus, Franklin County Board of Commissioners, Franklin County Children Services, Kaleidoscope, Star House, YMCA of Central Ohio, Youth Action Board, YWCA Columbus and The Columbus Foundation. In total, HUD awarded $43M to reduce homelessness among youth in 11 communities across the United States.

To follow the progress of this project, please visit the CSB website. For questions or more information, please send an email to info@csb.org.

About Community Shelter Board

Community Shelter Board (CSB) leads a coordinated, community effort to make sure everyone has a place to call home. CSB is the collective impact organization driving strategy, accountability, collaboration, and resources to achieve the best outcomes for people facing homelessness in Columbus and Franklin County. CSB brings together 16 agencies across the community to work together as a cohesive system for change. With the support of a compassionate community, its system of care served 12,000 people last year with homelessness prevention, shelter, street outreach, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing. CSB is funded by the City of Columbus, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, the United Way of Central Ohio, The Columbus Foundation, Nationwide Foundation, American Electric Power Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the State of Ohio, and many other public and private investors.

About Measurement Resources Company

Measurement Resources Company (MRC) delivers data-driven services and strategies to government, nonprofit and social enterprise organizations eager to accelerate social change. Since 2008, MRC has helped hundreds of social sector organizations isolate the metrics that most effectively reveal the insights needed to improve outcomes, demonstrate impact, increase visibility, and raise funds.

By combining best practices in industrial and organizational psychology, program evaluation, and data, MRC’s High-Performance Measurement Framework™ makes it easy for mission-driven teams to use data that can drive better outcomes.