Podcast | How services for homeless youth have adapted to COVID

As COVID-19 has upended their usual protocols, some nonprofits have seen the number of homeless youth they serve plummet. But for other organizations across the country, the pandemic has spurred innovations in how they find and serve a population whose needs have been amplified and, in some ways, made more acute due to COVID-19.


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A number of service providers have adopted online and telephone options for young people to apply for housing, participate in support groups and connect with case managers, mental health counselors and doctors. Other groups went in the opposite direction, delivering food and other supplies directly to young people and their families wherever they were sheltered, including in cars and motel rooms. Several organizations across the country have also begun experimenting with giving money directly to young people, allowing them to determine how best to meet their own needs.

For the inaugural episode of the Youth Today podcast, producer Sam Leeds tells the story of two vendors from the same city who responded to the pandemic in very different ways, saw the benefits of doing something new, and learned from it. been changed forever.

This podcast is part of an ongoing series on homelessness in Washington State, produced in collaboration with Youth today. It is made possible in part thanks to the support of the Raikes Foundation. Youth Today and Crosscut retain editorial control. You can read a text version of that story here and more from the series here.

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