Michigan advocates gather for virtual panel on youth homelessness
The Hope for Living Project is bringing together four industry experts for a virtual panel on youth facing homelessness. The event will be held at 5pm on Wednesday and welcomes representatives from AYA Youth Collective, Detroit Phoenix Center, and Covenant House.
Director of Drop In at AYA Youth Collective, DL McKinney, said the panel brings an opportunity for education.
"I’m really excited to have a conversation with our three organizations together and really give that awareness to a population that doesn’t know much about homelessness, especially for young people," they said.
McKinney will be joined by fellow speakers Stephanie Taylor, Amber Clingman and Sade Beck during the forum.
McKinney said accessibility to resources has become even more difficult for those facing homelessness during the pandemic, with usual safe zones like warm libraries in the winter being closed. They added that other barriers like systemic racism create long-standing disparities. However, AYA Youth Collective staff are working diligently to create alternative spaces for youth facing homelessness, McKinney saying it all starts with trust and acceptance.
''Young people are resilient and guess what, they don’t need us because they’re going to find a way. So, it makes it that much more crucial to say that you’re being intentional with how safe you’re presenting yourself and your resources, because if it’s not safe and there’s trauma, especially with people that may look like you, to a young person they’re exiting. They’re figuring it out a different way, and that’s not always beneficial to them or safe," McKinney said.
Registration for Wednesday's panel can be found, here.