The Saint Paul City Council, sitting as the Housing Redevelopment Authority on August 14, voted 7-0 to commit up to $1.1 million in HOME funds and St. Paul Affordable Housing Trust Funds to Prior Crossing. Prior Crossing is the future home for 44 apartments for homeless youth located at the corner of University Avenue and Prior Street in St. Paul. Developed by Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative and The House of Hope Presbyterian Church, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation will provide on-site services.
The support of the Saint Paul City Council makes Prior Crossing a closer reality and will serve as a catalyst to leverage the additional funding needed. Homeless youth are among the least visible and most vulnerable homeless people.
Initial results from Wilder Research's 2012 Homeless Study conducted October 25, 2012 found nearly half (46%) of the homeless are age 21 and younger, of which 3,546 were children with their parents. The study also counted 1,151 youth on their own, including 146 youth age 17 and younger and 1,005 age 18 through 21. These numbers reflect homeless people counted or interviewed for the study. The count underrepresents the total youth homeless population since many homeless people outside the shelter system are not found on the day of the study, especially youth.