MINNEAPOLIS - According to Wilder Research, on any given night in Minnesota, over 6,000 youth are homeless with less than 100 youth shelter beds available.

Nine out of ten homeless youth had experienced at least one adverse childhood experience. Homeless youth are least likely to use shelters and the majority are homeless long-term .

But the YMCA of the Twin Cities is trying to help solve the problem. They’ve collaborated with community partners on the new Minor Connect pilot program. Their goal is to help youth ages 15-17 who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness or whose housing situation creates the potential for significant harm.

The YMCA has partnered with the Department of Human services and others to help youth find housing through what they call the minor connect program

YMCA Executive Director Lisa Pung-Michaelson has an anchor tattoo on her wrist that reminds her of her mission.

“It reminds me on those days where it is hard to remember that, we all need to be grateful,” Pung-Michaelson said. “When I think about my life and how incredibly blessed I am I think about the young people we work with and all of the challenges they might face. It makes me realize no matter the circumstances we can help other people and benefit from things we may have to offer.” .

For more information click here.