One of the most pressing economic struggles for the young people we serve is housing insecurity. Around 25% of YEP’s young adults currently experience homelessness or extreme housing insecurity, which is often the biggest obstacle to moving their educational and career goals forward. Stable and secure housing is a fundamental resource for any person trying to advance in education, learn valuable skills, and maintain employment.
In early 2022, YEP construction trainees completed the construction of 12 units of tiny home emergency housing. Each tiny home is a fully insulated single-occupancy unit with a bed, study desk, storage, electricity and lighting, as well as a communal outdoor kitchenette, bathrooms, showers and laundry machines. Residents will not only participate in YEP’s workforce training and education programming, but will also receive 24/7 onsite case management and daily breakfast and dinner prepared by YEP culinary arts trainees.
This on-site community will allow each resident the stability, structure, and support to advance their education and employability by earning their high school diploma, obtaining high-demand industry skillsets, credentials, and work experience, and transitioning into longer-term housing and quality careers.
Expanding on YEP’s housing offerings is the 30-unit workforce training dormitory for homeless and housing insecure youth, currently being renovated for a winter 2022 opening. With the help of YEP construction trainees, this three-story, 6,430 square foot residential building, located adjacent to YEP’s training facility, is undergoing remarkable improvements. Modifications to the existing structure include a revised floor plan to increase residential capacity while ensuring privacy and comfort, as well as installing new electrical, plumbing, sprinkling, heating and fire suppression systems, ADA-accessible ramp, and ADA bathrooms and showers. These renovations will optimize the spatial layout and transform the building into a modern dormitory for career- and college-bound young adults.
The dormitory features 30 resident beds in private and double dorm rooms, along with a large kitchen, dining room, living room, bathrooms and showers, and study spaces. YEP’s supportive workforce training dormitory, in addition to meeting immediate housing needs, will generate a credential-building and school-going culture to encourage participants to get their high school diploma, enter into community college, gain industry-recognized credentials, and gain the skillsets and experience necessary to move into career-track employment.