Forty-six percent of the homeless people in the state of Minnesota are age 21 and younger.

  • Youth homelessness has jumped 63 percent in Minnesota since 2009.
  • On any night in Minnesota, 4,000 youth are homeless, with less than 100 youth shelter beds available.*

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities (YGTC), a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, helps over 2,000 youth who are facing obstacles each year by helping them overcome barriers, achieve self-sufficiency and thrive.

The Y’s Youth Intervention Services team focuses on youth in transition or who are experiencing homelessness as well as those who have faced challenges due to foster care, involvement with the juvenile justice system and much more. They are innovatively creating connections with caring adults and community resources; building skills for success; and instilling hope for the future.

“Whether helping a youth receive academic help, find a safe home, secure employment or eat healthier, the Y provides the necessary services tailored to reach these youth,” said Matt Kjorstad, executive director at the Y. “Our programs use a strength-based approach designed to build upon each youth’s innate assets and instill self-sufficiency through personalized plans and renewed connection to community and resources.”

Kjorstad added how the Y provides the caring and understanding these youth need to become stronger and healthier; helps them feel better about themselves and the communities they live in; and ensures they have an enriching life and reach their potential.

The YMCA Youth Intervention Services team provides programs through core strategies that are tailored to meet the needs of communities and young people:

  • Life Coaching – individual, peer to peer and group mentoring; community-based case management
  • Community Outreach – school and street-based outreach, training, resource fairs and advocacy
  • Immediate Needs – youth resource line, food shelves, clothing, housing support and obtaining vital documents
  • Education and Employment – group-based education, academic support, post-secondary access, independent living skills, job readiness and internships
  • Enrichment – YMCA memberships and programs, YMCA day and overnight camps, pro-social activities, wilderness and outdoor engagement, and traditional and extreme sports

Listen to Gabby’s Story and discover how the Y Youth Intervention Services team has helped her overcome challenges she was facing and live a life that is happy, healthy and connected.

Listen to how the Y Street Outreach team is having a positive impact on youth.

As a leading nonprofit committed to youth development, financial assistance is available to those in need to ensure youth can thrive. Learn more about the .

*Statistics from Wilder Foundation Research