The Nine Guiding Principles - Youthlink

The Nine Guiding Principles At YouthLink, we have nine guiding principles that shape the way we work with young people experiencing homelessness.

Journey Oriented: We interact with youth to help them understand the interconnectedness of their past, present, and future as they decide where they want to go and how to get there.

Trauma-Informed: We recognize that most homeless youth have experienced trauma; we build our relationships, responses, and services on that knowledge.

Non-Judgmental: We interact with youth without labeling or judging them on the basis of their background, experiences, choices, or behaviors.

Harm Reduction: We contain the effects of risky behavior in the short term and seek to reduce its effects in the long term.

Trusting Youth-Adult Relationships: We build relationships by interacting with youth in an honest, dependable, authentic, caring, and supportive way.

Strengths-Based: We start with, and build upon, the skills, strengths, and positive characteristics of each youth.

Positive Youth Development: We provide opportunities for youth to build a sense of competency, usefulness, belonging, and power.

Holistic: We engage youth in a manner that recognizes that mental, physical, spiritual, and social health are interconnected and interrelated.

Collaboration: We establish a principles-based, youth-focused system of support that integrates practices, procedures, and services within and across agencies, systems, and policies.

YouthLink’s collaboration on the Downtown 100 program led to a 74% decrease in arrest rates among program participants.

Meet Sai Kilp LGBTQ Case Manager

“I love to work at YouthLink because we get to connect young people to the resources within themselves and the community that they need to create their own journey. It is an amazing moment when a young person finds their worth.”

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