Community Development, Homelessness, Reports and Publications

Report Focuses on Harm Reduction for Homeless Youth


A recent posting by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) explores harm reduction for youth as a model for ending youth homelessness. As the posting explains, the harm reduction model is a different way of approaching youth that eliminates judgment and encourages youth to use available services in a no pressure setting. This approach allows youth to use services on their own timeline and to feel control over their progress so that the process is more meaningful.

USICH staff gathered information from 3 youth programs that have been successful with the harm reduction model: Preble Street in Portland, Maine; the Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska; and Outside In Portland, Oregon. All of these programs moved away from a zero tolerance policy to a harm reduction model and have seen an increase in their success rates. These programs have worked with the youth to build trust and have involved the youth to build their own growth and success plans.

To further explore this topic, USICH is hosting a webinar on Harm Reduction for Youth on Thursday, January 12, 3:30-4:30 PM.  To register for the webinar click here

More information about harm reduction is available in the full USICH article


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