Our Approach

We strive to provide effective, individualized services to young people experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities. To make this happen:

  • We recognize that homelessness isn’t permanent for our youth. It’s one stop on their journey, and we strive to keep them moving toward stability.
  • We understand that youth have had traumatic experiences that may have resulted in their homelessness. We try to work with them, keeping in mind they may be dealing with issues broader than their housing situations.
  • We meet youth where they are, and provide an open, and safe, environment for young people from all walks of life.
  • We work with youth to make their current situation as safe as possible, step by step, until greater stability and self-reliance is reached.
  • We build relationships based on trust and mutual respect. Many youth have experienced exploitation, and we work hard to earn their trust, and keep it.
  • We see the positive qualities in each young person who walks through our door. They all have unique talents and strengths they can draw on to help them in their journeys from homeless to hopeful.
  • We provide opportunities for growth. Optimism doesn’t flourish in a bubble. We give youth exposure to new opportunities, broadening their horizons and building their self-esteem.
  • We tend to the whole person. It takes more to exit homelessness than simply finding a place to stay. You have to take your mental, physical, and emotional health needs into consideration as well.
  • We value collaboration. We know this isn’t an issue we can conquer on our own, so we turn to the best in their fields and bring them on site at our innovative Youth Opportunity Center to make sure youth get the services they need.

Our unique approach is based on the Nine Evidence-Based Principles. You can read more about those guiding principles here.

At YouthLink, we have over 30 partner agencies providing services to young people through the Youth Opportunity Center.

Meet Katie Miller Associate Director of Drop-In Services

“I feel fortunate to work in a place where the value is seeing each individual as a whole person and meeting them where they are. It is an honor and a privilege when a young person allows us to be part of their journey.”

Meet our staff >