What problem does it solve? Help reduce rate of youth homelessness and other issues youth and young adults are facing in NJ. Many youth age-out of the foster care system with no supports, job skills or housing options which results in high rates of incarceration, homelessness, dependence on state welfare, substance abuse, teen pregnancy and intimate partner violence. This app will allow for immediate connections to local services, and help reduce social isolation within our communities. What is your solution and who does it apply to? Smart phone application that can help youth and adults find valuable nearby resources from anywhere in New Jersey. It will keep them connected with people, places and services that can provide support. GPS mapping of services near them, including transitional housing, shelters, food banks, schools, jobs, medical clinics and more, as well as links to helpful resources and organizations. Optional sign-up for alerts and notifications when a new program opens. Wi-Fi capable, so it can be used at a Wi-Fi hotspot even if their data/voice plan is not on. The app, B4UGO, was created by the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Children’s Law Center of California and is being utilized there already. What is the anticipated impact? With access to services, of which many young adults may not even be aware of, we could expect to see less young adults living on the streets, resulting in less arrests, sexual assaults and human trafficking victims. With access to information on free medical care, including treatment of STDs and education on healthy, safe sex, we could see fewer teen pregnancies. In having support in areas of education and employment we could see more individuals working and less in need of financial support from the state welfare agencies. Preventative and educational services can help end generational involvement with CPS. When people lack supports and access to services, they become alienated from society. It is in our own interest to reduce social isolation as it will reduce crime and violence in society while improving the overall quality of life in our communities.
We live in time where people, especially young adults, are dependent on technology. This would put resources at their fingertips. Many of them don't have support or people to reach out to. This would also help in connecting them with their communities.
Yes. We live in an era where everyone has a smart phone and we have become a generation that relies on technology. This would be a use to the people in the community.
Yes this is a great idea and I would add that is would be helpful for all young people who would need these resources. Maybe it could be an app designed for and by youth, with specific information for the needs of youth who have experienced child welfare (e.g. Medicaid extension, how to re-open your case if 21, wraparound funds, aftercare, One Simple Wish).
What a wonderful idea to use smart phones to help keep these vulnerable youth connected and informed. The transition to successful adulthood is hard for all youth, but is such a challenge for those who experienced trauma and lack support and resources. This is a smart way to arm these young adults with the tools they need to make this transition. I hope NJ can follow CA's lead and put this into practice!
Our adolescent population is one of the most vulnerable. They often age out of the system and cannot manage on their own. An app of this sort would assist them in trying to obtain the services they need. Additionally, a huge majority of our youth do mostly everything on their cell phones, an app is a smart idea.
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This content is created by the open source Your Priorities citizen engagement platform designed by the non profit Citizens Foundation