The Youth Action Board and 100 Day Challange

Youth Looking OutIn 2018, the Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County was 1 of 5 communities selected nationally to join the 100 Day Challenge on youth homelessness.  Young people across the country have become more engaged than ever in shaping our future and in making the changes they want to see. And in suburban Cook County, we are proud of our young people who have come together to tackle the bold challenge of ending youth homelessness! 

Thanks to your support, the Alliance’s Youth Action Board (YAB) is working to end youth homelessness in our region.  The young people serving on the Youth Action Board have experienced homelessness, whether in the past or currently, and are serving their community to make sure no young person who is facing housing instability faces it alone. 

The mission of the Youth Action Board is to strive for the elimination of youth homelessness in suburban Cook County. The YAB will bring together youth with lived experience of homelessness to inform the public about the issue, identify and work to eliminate barriers to housing, and advocate for increased resources to transition youth who are unstably housed into stable, permanent housing.

What a goal! And what amazing young people!

“The Youth Action Board is awesome. I’m part of a group who is doing great things, and even though my role is small, it makes a big difference. And I think we will end youth homelessness because even though some people might be used to being homeless and afraid of getting help, I think that the Board can make them feel welcome and less scared to come into a program. We can change their minds because we’ve been through it, too. I feel like everyone involved in the YAB has a role and they are all important and we’ll make it in the end,” says Angelo, a founding member of the YAB who has been homeless since 2011. 

One of the central roles the YAB is currently playing is to inform and support the work of our 100-Day Challenge on youth homelessness. Suburban Cook was one of five communities from across the country selected to participate in a 100-Day Challenge facilitated by the Rapid Results Institute. This challenge will give us the chance to learn from national experts about ending youth homelessness and to jump-start efforts to reach this ambitious goal in our community. 

One of the main goals of the challenge is to increase awareness of youth homelessness and to connect young people to services without stigma. As Angelo from our YAB explains, “I didn’t know I was homeless because I was just surviving. If I had realized and gotten help earlier, I wouldn’t have been homeless as long and things could have been really different.” 

Angelo’s story—all the stories of the YAB members—and those of young people we have yet to encounter are at the center of our work on the 100-Day Challenge and in our overall goal of ending youth homelessness.

Please continue to support this effort and make a donation at www.suburbancook.org/donate.