Enews 8-27-20: Summit Summary; TAY Speaker Series; 2020 Census to Count Homelessness

Great Response to UCS’ First VIRTUAL Human Services Summit

Like countless other organizations, UCS is adapting its convening and collaborating model, hosting its first ever virtual Human Service Summit for approximately 170 participants from across multiple community sectors. Participants received an early look at housing data and survey insights from the Housing Study, and they joined the growing and multi-faceted conversation around attainable housing options in Johnson County and the region. UCS will provide a full recap soon.

In the meantime, you can read about the lived experiences of Johnson County residents seeking safe, stable, and attainable housing – such as Jared Schultz, a 19-year-old Overland Park resident and student at Johnson County Community College who spends the majority of his monthly earnings on rent. “All across the country there are college students that are struggling to pay their next rent or utility bill,” Schultz says. “Students should never have to choose between textbooks and the next month's rent.”

Special thanks to our presenters, sponsors, panelists, and all who participated to make the 2020 Summit a success.

TAY Planning Project Speaker Series

UCS is in its third year partnering with area agencies to implement the Transitional-Age Youth (TAY) Planning Project thanks to ongoing support from the REACH Healthcare Foundation. The goal of this project is that every at-risk transitional-age youth in Johnson County will enter adulthood successfully. An important component of this work is engaging the community and raising awareness of the issues impacting transitional age youth in Johnson County.

In 2018, UCS and the TAY Leadership Team launched a speaker series aimed at engaging and educating the community around the needs of the TAY population in Johnson County. The series has included a homeless youth simulation presented by ReStart, presentations on Screen-based Addiction and on Recognizing and Responding to Human Trafficking of Minors and Transitional Age Youth, and a half-day training on Advocating for LGBTQ Youth Affected by Trauma.

As part of this continuing effort, UCS and the TAY Planning Project will present a three-part virtual workshop focusing on Best Practices to Effectively Partner with Youth. Each session will last for 90 minutes and will cover a different component. These dynamic training sessions will cover research-based best practices, outline tips for implementation, and promote transparent conversation to learn from one another. Anyone working with young people or anyone with a young person in their lives will benefit from this three-part series.

Positive Youth Development: September 24, from 3:30pm – 5:00pm

  • Adultism
  • Power & Control
  • Growth Mindset/Fixed Mindset

Trauma-Informed Care: October 1, from 3:30pm – 5:00pm

  • Trauma & Brain Development
  • Strengths-based Approach
  • Empowering Relationships (Include discussion around how Covid-19 regulations and Black Lives Matter impact relationship building)

Harm Reduction: October 8, from 3:30pm – 5:00pm

  • Power of Choice
  • Acceptance versus Judgement
  • Cycle of Behavior Change
  • Wrap-up Activity where we apply all three approaches

These sessions will be presented by Cynthia Hoffman and Ash R Allee, LMSW. Since 2013, Cynthia has worked with homeless and at-risk teens in a school setting, transitional living program, and street outreach program. Cynthia has more than 10 years of experience providing positive youth development programs, strategies, and trainings. Ash is a licensed social worker, professor, queer activist, and consultant. For the past decade, Ash has organized and facilitated numerous community events focused on raising awareness of the LGBTQ community. Ash is the co-creator and lead advisor of Transformations, a non-profit organization that provides programming and support to trans and gender-expansive young people in Kansas City.

The sessions are free thanks to grant support. To register, visit these links:

Part 1: Positive Youth Development

Part 2: Trauma-Informed Care

Part 3: Harm Reduction 

2020 Census to Count People Experiencing Homelessness in September

In light of the on-going efforts to address COVID-19, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that they will conduct the count of people experiencing homelessness between September 22 and 24. The Census Bureau is developing protocols and gathering resources, including personal protective equipment (PPE), to ensure that this count is conducted as safely as possible.

These steps follow months of outreach and coordination with local census offices, partners, shelter directors, service providers, and others:

  • Step 1: Counting people who are in shelters.
  • Step 2: Counting people at soup kitchens and mobile food vans.
  • Step 3: Counting people in non-sheltered, outdoor locations, such as tent encampments and on the streets.

Agencies in Johnson County may be able to play a role in the count through a process called Service-Based Enumeration, which provides an opportunity for people without conventional housing and people who may be experiencing homelessness to be counted in the census. Through this process, people who are not included in counts of traditional household-type living arrangements or group quarters are enumerated where they stay or receive services or at predetermined outdoor locations.

To learn more, visit the Census website.

For more information about the Census work in Johnson County, visit Count Me In JoCo.

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