Philadelphia is experiencing a youth homelessness crisis, and social service and supportive housing providers are struggling to keep up with demand. Providers, because they are engaged in addressing the urgent needs of these young people, often do not have the time or resources to form proactive policy priorities that could systemically benefit their clients.
Through her Emerging Leader Fellowship, Rashni Stanford developed the capacity of youth and youth-serving agencies to advocate for improved policies and generate new resources to address youth homelessness. While based at the People’s Emergency Center, Rashni collaborated with The Attic Youth Center, Covenant House PA, Education Law Center, Juvenile Law Center, Pathways PA, Valley Youth House, and Youth Services, Inc., to carry out this work.
This Emerging Leader Fellowship enabled Rashni to:
- Establish a coalition of young people, called Youth HEALers Stand Up!, and empower them to advocate for improved policy solutions by facilitating trainings on leadership development, public policy, and community organizing.
- Support the formalization of a sustainable coalition of youth-serving agencies that will work together to share knowledge, coordinate services, develop an aligned advocacy agenda, and undertake coordinated public policy campaigns.
- Coordinate learning, collaboration, and collective policy action opportunities between the two coalitions of youth and youth-serving agencies.