Three communities across the nation – Los Angeles, Austin and Cleveland – are currently amid the nation’s first 100-Day Challenge to end youth homelessness. Through these challenges, initiated by A Way Home America (AWHA), philanthropy’s essential role as conveners in our communities and across the nation is clear. Through this work, we continue to learn much about the power of philanthropy in bringing community partners together.
AWHA is a national initiative to build the movement to prevent and end homelessness among young people. It consists of homeless youth providers, advocates, researchers, government agencies, philanthropists and young people uniting behind a common goal to end youth homelessness.
This summer, after a nationwide search, AWHA invited three communities (Cleveland, Austin and Los Angeles) to support national learning through launching 100-Day Challenges, an effort supported by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families; Casey Family Programs; Melville Charitable Trust and Raikes Foundation. The challenges will identify and execute innovative practices to end youth and young adult homelessness, community by community. The challenges do not provide additional dollars for services directly. What these challenges offer is innovative support and technical assistance to set ambitious goals to work differently with what we do have as we identify resources that will scale up what works across the United States.
With guidance from the Rapid Results Institute, Cleveland, Austin and Los Angeles have each formed multi-agency teams, set ambitious 100-day goals and are now pursuing those goals through intensive collaboration and innovation.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland is intimately involved in Cleveland’s 100-Day Challenge, coordinated by A Place 4 Me. Our ambitious goal is to house 100 homeless young adults in 100 days, and to strengthen support systems so that no child in Cuyahoga County will age out of the foster care system into homelessness ever again. On November 8, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland held a mid-point meeting with the Rapid Results Institute to review the progress made to date by the A Place 4 Me team.
We are honored and excited for this opportunity. We are confident our 100-day journey, launched September 9, will not only move the needle on key youth homelessness metrics in Cuyahoga County, but will also inform the national dialogue and policy. Learnings and momentum from these communities will fuel the national movement to end youth homelessness.
Read more about Sister of Charity Foundation of Cleveland’s work around youth homelessness and the essential role of funders as conveners in the Foundation's Featured Member Profile here.
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Since 2010, Rebecca L. Gallant has served as director of communications for the Sisters of Charity Health System, where she specializes in strategy, message development and delivery of integrated public relations approaches. As part of her role, she also works in service to the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. She is active in the community, serving on committees for the 100-Day Challenge from A Way Home America, A Place 4 Me initiative, Fund for Our Economic Future, The City Club of Cleveland and others. She is a 2016 graduate of the Bridge Builders program of the Cleveland Leadership Center. Prior to joining the Sisters of Charity Health System, she practiced at an accomplished PR agency and manufacturing trade association. She is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.