Integrating Public Policy into Public, Private and Non-Profit Collaboration: Engineering Strategic Programs for Homeless Youth
Urban Peak is the only licensed homeless youth provider in the State of Colorado. Estimates suggest that on any given night there are 400 young people sleeping on the streets of Denver, marking an increase of over 100% in this population in the past five years (D'Alanno 2000; D'Alanno 2002). Each year, through strategic partnerships involving collaborations with public and private sectors, Urban Peak assists over 400 homeless youth in permanently exiting the streets. Sixty-three percent (63%) of the youth accessing services via the agency successfully transition into stable living situations. It costs the State of Colorado $53, 655 to place a young person in youth corrections for one year; $53, 527 for residential treatment (Van Leeuwen 2004). Through innovative partnerships, it costs Urban Peak $5, 378 to move a young person off of the streets (Van Leeuwen 2004). Strategic collaborations between public, private and non-profit sectors tripled the availability of youth housing at Urban Peak during the past two years in a depressed economic climate. These collaborations have also resulted in enhanced access to mental health and substance abuse treatment services for this population. This workshop highlights longitudinal data from three point-in-time surveys conducted on this population from 2000 through 2004 and references multiple publications generated via Urban Peak to illustrate how this data has driven program development. This workshop will emphasize the importance of integrating public participation in developing these collaborative models. The facilitators will involve workshop attendees in an interactive discussion around policy implications and how these relationships with the public and private sector leverage additional resources to create high quality, cost effective services for a diverse population of hard to reach young people.
Keywords: Public, Private, Non-profit Collaboration, Homeless Youth Policy, Child Welfare, Public Participation
Mr. Jamie Van Leeuwen
Associate Executive Director, Urban Peak
Mrs Jerene Petersen
Executive Director, Urban Peak