In November, the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare co-hosted the New York Coalition for Homeless Youth’s (CHY) Annual Conference for the fourth year in a row. CHY is a statewide membership network of providers who serve runaway and homeless youth and young adults across New York. This partnership aligns with UAlbany’s goals for the National Homelessness Social Work Initiative and its role as part of the New York-New Jersey Regional Network.
Amanda Aykanian, doctoral candidate and Research and Project Lead for the National Center, works closely with CHY’s executive director, Jamie Powlovich, to plan the event. Cara Duffy, the school’s administrative assistant, supports this effort by managing space, food, and parking logistics.
This year’s conference took place over two days, with the first day at UAlbany and the second at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany. Along with the many CHY member attendees, there were several young people in attendance – most who are members of New York City’s homeless youth advisory council (pictured left, with Jamie Powlovich on the far right). Young people had active roles throughout the event. You can hear the powerful opening remarks from Ja’asriel Bishop here.
The conference theme was, “Resilience and Resistance: Empowering Youth and Improving the Systems that Serve Them”. Workshops and roundtables addressed a wide range of topics, including the following:
- federal policy updates and strategic recommendations
- meeting the legal needs of homeless youth
- Housing First best practices
- human trafficking
- outreach strategies
- working with transgender and non-binary youth
- using administrative data to measure housing trajectories
- rural services resources and challenges
- statewide policy planning
Amanda presented findings from a study she recently conducted in the Capital Region on service and policy considerations when working with homeless youth. This study was published in Children and Youth Services Review. She also led a roundtable on using youth leadership to end youth homelessness (pictured right).
The event closed with the presentations of the 2017 Margot Hirsch Moxie Award (pictured below), which was given to Michael Berg, executive director of Family of Woodstock.
For more information on youth homelessness, read our recent post about the Voices of Youth Count project.
Blog Post Author: Amanda Aykanian, MA, Research and Project Lead, National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services