Cleveland agencies ramping up efforts to end youth homelessness

Posted at 12:37 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 12:37:37-05
A consistent place to call home is a struggle for dozens of teens in Cleveland every year.
And right now, social service agencies in the city are ramping up their efforts to put an end to youth homelessness.
Some lofty goals have been set.
At the halfway point, we wanted to see if these agencies are on track to permanently house 100 young people in Cleveland during this challenge like they promised.
Day 42 of the 100 Day Challenge, and Joshua Patterson is still a statistic.
"I'm couch-surfing," said Patterson.
Patterson aged out of the juvenile justice system at the age of 18. Since then, he's been homeless.
"There was really no time to prepare for it, I was just kind of thrown at real life," said Patterson. "Even though I wanted to be free and live as an adult, I wasn't ready to be one yet."
For nearly two years, Josh has been couch-surfing. But he won't be much longer.
"We have a strategy to deal with it when they show up, which we haven't had before this time," said Kate Lodge.
Lodge works at A Place 4 Me. She said so far, thanks to this challenge, they have placed eight homeless youth.
Rapid re-housing dollars from HUD helped make it a reality.
"To help them with the first three to four months rent," said Lodge.
However, right now, 10 young people are still living on the streets, with more than 100 in area shelters.
"If people knew what was going on, more people would be standing up for this," Patterson.
58 landlords have stepped up to help the homeless youth with housing. Patterson is one of them.
"I don't care about nothing else but that," said Patterson. "That's the most important thing, just to be able to go home and not have someone say hey you've been here too long it's time to go," said Patterson.
Right now, agencies like A Place 4 Me are asking for your help.
They're looking for donations to help these homeless youth furnish their new apartments with beds and furniture, things funding dollars cannot buy.