FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – BRIDGE FOR YOUTH TO OPEN FIRST SITE-BASED PROGRAM FOR HOMELESS PREGNANT PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN IN HENNEPIN COUNTY
Nightly in Minnesota, over 6,000 youth experience homelessness. These young people are not homeless by choice. Minnesota has fewer than 200 emergency shelter beds statewide for youth. This disparity between the need and the number of youth needing assistance is stunning. More concerning is that more than one-third of these youth – over 2,000 – are pregnant or parenting, and in Minnesota there are less than 10 site-based units designated as age-appropriate and safe, specifically for homeless teen parents.
To address an urgent and growing need for housing for homeless pregnant and parenting youth, on April 1 2019, the Bridge will launch Marlene’s Place. Once opened, Marlene’s Place will serve five homeless pregnant and/or parenting youth ages sixteen up to twenty years old and their dependent children up until age three.
“Nearly 45% of homeless youth in Hennepin County are parenting and the Bridge is pleased to be opening the first site-based program in Hennepin County for parenting youth to respond to this overwhelming need.” – Michelle Basham, Bridge for Youth, Executive Director
Providing comprehensive programming – including housing, access to healthcare, parenting education, experiential life-skills coaching and education; Marlene’s Place will address the unique needs of homeless teen parents and their young children by providing a supportive environment that allows them to heal, learn, grow, and thrive.
About The Bridge for Youth
The Bridge for Youth is a safe place for those with no one to turn to and nowhere to go. Founded in 1970, The Bridge for Youth serves homeless, runaway, and abandoned youth, ages 10-17. Services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency and long term shelter, youth and family counseling, and support groups.
Christina Woodlee, Associate Director