Youth Adelante supports unaccompanied immigrant youth in their efforts to rebuild positive, self-sufficient lives by providing access to affordable housing arrangements and connecting immigrant youth to community-based mentorship and a peer support network.
Youth Adelante coordinates a network of volunteers in Phoenix, Arizona to house unaccompanied immigrant youth on both an emergency and longer-term basis. Accommodations may be in guesthouses, spare bedrooms, or even a spare couch. Youth Adelante prioritizes the placement of youth who are about to turn 18 years old and face the imminent risk of being transferred from Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) custody to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers. In addition to coordinating a network of volunteer hosts, in Fall 2015, Youth Adelante launched a pilot project, called Casa Nuestra, to provide long-term affordable housing to four unaccompanied immigrant youth. Youth Adelante has arranged for below-market rent on a two-bedroom apartment in central Phoenix. Shared, furnished rooms are being leased to eligible youth at subsidized rates for up to three years, with monthly rent increasing gradually each year. Rent is fully subsidized for youth awaiting employment authorization documents. Residents will also be connected to supportive services through Youth Adelante, including one-on-one mentoring and a peer support network, as described below. With processes and lessons learned from the first year of the pilot project, Youth Adelante will develop a strategic plan and raise funds to acquire access to additional properties in order to scale out and provide affordable housing and supportive services to more unaccompanied immigrant youth.
Youth Adelante recruits and trains community members to serve as volunteer mentors to unaccompanied immigrant youth. Mentors provide one-on-one support in local orientation, accessing community-based social services, navigating bureaucracies, and English language practice. For at least one year, volunteer mentors will commit to meeting with their mentees at least once a month, in addition to attending occasional larger group outings and events with their mentee through the peer support network. Youth Adelante will provide mentors with a catalogue of appropriate activities, including assistance in exploring appropriate educational options, English language practice, opening a bank account, understanding income tax filing, obtaining a driver’s license or learner’s permit, as well as recreational activities to learn about the Phoenix area and community.
Youth Adelante facilitates a peer support network for immigrant youth in the metro Phoenix area. With input from and participation by the youth, Youth Adelante coordinates group activities where immigrant youth, as well as their assigned mentors, can connect with one another and share experiences. These activities range from informal BBQs, to soccer games in the park, to group sessions to assist with tax preparation or job applications.
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Youth Adelante supports unaccompanied immigrant youth in their efforts to rebuild positive, self-sufficient lives by providing access to affordable housing arrangements and connecting immigrant youth to community-based…