Nothing About Me Without Me
What is A Place 4 Me? It is not an actual place, but rather an idea that all youth will have a place, specifically those youth who have high risks for homelessness and are in transition from leaving the child welfare system or other systems. A Place 4 Me is an initiative that coordinates the planning and implementation of local efforts to improve outcomes for transition age youth in the areas of:
- Physical and mental health
- Financial capability
- Social capital.
We are organized to do this work through the collaboration of the YWCA Greater Cleveland (backbone organization) with The Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services, Frontline Services, and The Sisters of Charity.
The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative is a partner in our local efforts, and key strategies that have been tested and utilized nationwide are incorporated into local planning efforts. These strategies include engaging youth to be a part of the planning, to be true to the tagline, “nothing about me without me”. Another strategy is bringing a cross section of the systems aimed at improving outcomes for youth together. We aim to transcend the silos that have traditionally isolated systems from each other. A data and research strategy is essential for us to define the scope of our work, and measure our efforts at improving outcomes. Another strategy we are incorporating is a strategy to increase opportunities for youth in concrete and achievable ways through matched savings and by opening doors so that youth can access the abundance of resources our community is blessed with. Finally, we are implementing a strategy of advocacy that will impact policy and public will around issues of youth in transition in our community.
Communities across the nation are developing solutions to youth homelessness that prioritize prevention; the unique developmental needs and opportunities of young people; and alignment of systems and resources for a more coordinated response. To learn more about the work in Cuyahoga County, click here to review the A Place 4 Me Strategic Plan.