Panel Discussion: Youth- The Hidden Homeless

31% of the US total homeless population is younger than 25 years old

homeless_youthThese statistics aren’t just alarming, they are heartbreaking and a call to action.  Local, state, and national governments, as well as nonprofits, the healthcare industry, schools, and the private sector all play a critical role in preventing and reducing youth homelessness.  By getting more informed, YOU can play a critical role in lasting solutions!

Join us on Monday, April 10, 7-9 p.m. at the Harmony Library (4616 S. Shields St., Fort Collins) for a panel discussion of this topic.

Slides are available for download if you missed the panel.  Click HERE for a review of the presentation from Attention Homes in Boulder and HERE for a review of the presentation from Thompson Valley School District Chief Academic Officer Margaret Crespo.

Homeless Youth Panelists Include

Hava Simmons, Social Caseworker Manager, Larimer County Department of Human Services Children, Youth and Family Division, will provide an overview of the underlying causes of youth homelessness and its extent within Larimer County. She will discuss how the county utilizes federal grants, authorized by the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, to help current and former foster care youths achieve self-sufficiency as they transition from foster care.

Jerri Schmitz, Founder and Executive Director, The Matthews House, will provide an overview of programs and services with a focus on issues related to provision of housing for youth aging out of foster care and older youth (homeless/at risk for homelessness). Her presentation will be complemented by that of a teen who has, through The Matthews House, been assisted in life skills preparation and achievement of housing stability.

Margaret Crespo, Chief Academic Officer, Thompson School District. Margaret will discuss services and facilities the district provides to homeless children, focusing on services for the district’s older (secondary school age) homeless youth.

Chris Nelson, Director of Programs, Attention Homes. This Boulder-based organization has, for over 50 years, provided services to homeless youth, including many from Larimer County. Chris will speak of Attention Homes’ street outreach initiative, drop-in daytime center, overnight emergency shelter and usage of area apartments and rental homes as available, for transitional housing for homeless youth. He will also discuss plans for a dedicated long-term affordable housing complex for 40 homeless young adults between 18 and 24 years proposed near downtown Boulder.


Contact our Affordable Housing Team Leader: Marilyn Heller (

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