Background: The HOMY Collective

Miami Homes For All is the backbone support to The HOMY Collective — Helping Our Miami-Dade Youth ("HOMY"). Originally the “Youth Homelessness Initiative,” we rebranded in 2017 as HOMY. Composed of over 100 agencies, we work together to make sure our community’s young people have safe and stable housing in addition to the wraparound services that will grow them into resilient adults. Our work is currently funded by the generous support of The Children’s Trust.

HOMY’s Current Work

HOMY’s shared mission is to create a community dedicated to preventing and ending youth homelessness. “Youth homelessness” is defined as individuals between the ages of 13 to 24 who are unaccompanied by a parent or guardian and who are experiencing housing instability.

HOMY operates under the collective impact model and its membership includes government agencies, non-profit organizations, foundations, and service providers. The framework is rooted in the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) Framework To End Youth Homelessness and includes committees that address the core outcome areas of Stable Housing, Well-Being, Permanent Connections, and Education and Employment. In addition to these four committees, HOMY facilitates the Youth Voice Advisory Council (YVAC). Our YVAC, which is a group of 10 young people at risk of or with lived experience of homelessness between the ages of 16 and 24, is essential to making sure that youth perspective is not only included, but prioritized as we develop our community’s system of care. As of June 2019, the YVAC is officially part of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, our community’s Continuum of Care.

Starting in November 2018, Miami-Dade County was chosen to participate in the Rapid Result Institute’s 100 Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness. Communities received technical assistance to identify goals and remove barriers to reach them. Our goals were:

  • By day 100, every 14 to 24 year-old who entered through Coordinated Entry System would be off the street within two days of entry;

  • 85 exits to safe, stable housing;

  • 50 of the 14 to 24 year-old youth entering through the Coordinated Entry System are connected to training, education, or employment (subsidized or unsubsidized); and,

  • 5 youth identified as needing behavioral health are connected to care.

Our community not only met these goals, but we exceeded them. Our next steps include a Coordinated Entry Toolkit for Youth Access Points and workplaces to continue the excellent work we accomplished during this time.

iCount Miami

iCount is an annual point-in-time count specifically for youth between the ages of 13 and 24 experiencing homelessness or housing instability across Miami-Dade County. Miami Homes For All facilitates and leads iCount with our community partners, including The HOMY Collective, Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, and Educate Tomorrow. iCount seeks to better understand the needs of youth experiencing homelessness in order to better serve them. Part of the methodology of iCount includes hiring Youth Ambassadors, which are young people with lived experience of housing struggles, to administer the surveys and to distribute Publix gift cards to youth to incentivize taking the surveys. Data from 2018 and 2019 are here.