AYA YOUTH COLLECTIVE

Relationships. Resources. Housing.

aka 3:11 Youth Housing, Grand Rapids HQ   |   Grand Rapids, MI   |  www.ayayouth.org

Mission

We create communities, rooted in belonging, for youth experiencing instability to own their future.

Ruling year info

2014

C.E.O.

Lauren VanKeulen

Main address

320 State St. SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49503 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

3:11 Youth Housing

Grand Rapids HQ

EIN

46-2391112

NTEE code info

Other Housing, Shelter N.E.C. (L99)

Other Housing Support Services (L80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

2,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 24 experience homelessness each year in Kent County. The primary factors for causes of youth homelessness are family dysfunction, sexual abuse, aging out of foster care, juvenile system involvement, and economic hardship. In addition, as a result of these factors, many youth have experienced trauma, poor attachment, and other significant difficulties before becoming homeless, leading to a variety of barriers and challenges. While former foster youth comprise some of the homeless youth population, other youth have become homeless due to severe abuse and neglect. Recent studies have found that 30% of unaccompanied homeless youth were abused sexually and 50% were abused physically. Additionally, 40% percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. If unaccompanied youth are not afforded a continuum of safe housing options they are at increased risk for a variety of detrimental, long-term outcomes.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Housing

We house youth between the ages of 18 and 24 and walk alongside them as they transition to healthy interdependence.

Population(s) Served

Drop-in is a resource for youth ages 14-24 experiencing housing crisis, homelessness, or who need basic resources, people to love and accept them as they are, and a place to belong.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of homeless participants engaged in housing services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Housing

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the number of youth experiencing homelessness who held tenancy at an AYA house during that fiscal year.

Number of children and youth who have received access to stable housing

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Housing

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the number of youth experiencing homelessness that have held tenancy at AYA since its inception. Results are cumulative and reported on by fiscal year.

Number of youth receiving services (e.g., groups, skills and job training, etc.) with youths living in their community

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Drop-In

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This the number of unique youth experiencing homelessness or instability that engage in AYA drop-in services during that fiscal year.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We envision a community where every youth in crisis has access to housing and resources to facilitate their thriving, disrupting cycles of poverty, and serving as a gold standard for youth engagement.
5 Year Targets:
1. $4M Raised per year
2. 100 Housing Units Accessed through AYA homes, DCT transfers, Rapid Re-Housing, and more.
3. 700 Members at Drop-in
4. 90% of youth in housing attaining Long Term Stability
5. 350 Youth attain "Thriving" per year - we measure this through the Brief Inventory of Thriving, which helps determine a broad range of contructs that point to the ability to function and future health outcomes. "The comprehensive version has 54 items divided over seven domains which cover 18 subscales: Relationship (support, community, trust, respect, loneliness, belonging), Engagement, Mastery (skills, learning, accomplishment, self-efficacy, self-worth), Autonomy (control), Meaning (meaning and purpose), Optimism, Subjective Well-Being (life satisfaction, positive feelings, negative feelings)."

Our organization utilitzes many strategies in order to best serve youth. AYA engages in this critical work by curating a continuum of youth-specific services from prevention to various interventions. Providing a streamlined, one-stop-shop for youth to engage in services and be connected to housing resources is crucial in changing the trajectory of their lives. We do this through two primary avenues: our drop-in center, and our long-term supportive housing program. At our drop-in center, basic needs (i.e. showers, laundry, food, hygiene items) are met and trust is built with AYA staff, allowing youth the opportunity to engage in various supports like vital document recovery, education and employment resources, transportation, housing assessment and referral, and culturally appropriate therapy, health care, and wellness activities. Through AYA's, non-time-limited supportive housing model, we offer 26 units with affordable rent at one of our 8 homes scattered across Kent County. At each home, a high-capacity volunteer (a.k.a a House Mentor) lives in a separate unit, ready to support and encourage youth in their transition from homelessness to stability. They provide guidance as youth navigate real-world challenges while creating a sense of community through weekly house dinners and holiday celebrations.

Our approach is found at the intersection of several models: positive youth development, authentic relationship building, harm-reduction, and trauma-informed and healing-centered care. Pushing beyond a simple understanding of the impacts of trauma towards models that promote healing and thriving, staff support youth in identifying their goals and realizing their dreams. This creates ample opportunity to reduce risk through education and non-judgemental, engaging conversation around numerous “difficult” topics (i.e. gang involvement, safe sex, religious practices/beliefs, etc). We do not expect to immediately be trusted confidants but rather we show up consistently, creating spaces to try new things and “fail” without judgment. When the youth is ready to explore the resources available to them, the very staff they have built trust with are there, ready to support them through the complicated process. These authentic relationships allow for deep conversation, interactive activities, written evaluations, and an engaged youth action board, allowing us to pivot and evolve our services and approach as needed.

3:11 Youth Housing and Grand Rapids HQ have come together to form A.Y.A. Youth Collective, an organization providing circles of support for youth facing homelessness. Housing insecurity is complex, and we have partnered for years to address its many dimensions. As a unified organization, we have the capacity to create a more connective, cohesive experience for young people on their journey toward housing and stability.

AYA consistently serves more youth than any other organization in West Michigan, despite a global pandemic that closed many nonprofits and forced others to pull back their services, we remained a steady and stable support in the community. The sheer number of youth served, and specifically, the number of youth engaging in mental and behavioral health supports during this time is an incredible indicator of both the ongoing need but also our ability to authentically engage youth as leaders, staying nimble and developing policies and processes that are both youth-centered and evidence-based.

65+ YOUTH HOUSED
Since 2012, we have housed over 65 youth. Currently we can house 27 youth at a time in our transitional housing program.

STABLE HOUSING
93% of youth in our transitional housing resource find safe and stable housing of their own or reunite with family.

YOUTH ENGAGEMENT
100% of youth in our transitional housing resource are engaged in community meals, learning valuable life skills and conflict resolution.

GOAL SETTING
100% of youth in our transitional housing resource are engaged in goal setting, tracking their progress as they move towards healthy interdependence.

EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT
90% of youth in housing have obtained full-time employment, entered and completed trade school, and/or pursued higher education.

UNIQUE MEMBERS
Over 1,600 youth have become members at our Drop-In Center.

CONNECTION POINTS 2021:
Rapport Building - 36.4%
Basic Needs - 30.7%
Health and Wellness - 8.8%
Housing - 7.9%
Other - 4.8%
Transportation - 4.2%
Employment - 3.3%
Vital Documents - 3%
Education - .9%

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Youth ages 14-24 in our community face housing crises for a variety of reasons, most commonly; aging out of the foster care system, family conflict, and homelessness, health conditions resulting in unemployment, or a lack of acceptance due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Of the youth engaged by AYA in 2021, 51% identify as male, 43% as female, 6% as non-binary/trans/other, and 74% are people of color. Furthermore, 34% identify as LGBTQ+ upon first meeting (compared to 10% of the national population) and nearly 40% have engaged with the foster care system. This data clearly shows the overrepresentation of youth of color, LGBTQ+ youth, and foster care youth in the homelessness population.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    AYA uses the Performance and Quality Improvement (PQI) plan to avoid mission creep and ensure alignment with our mission, vision, and values. It challenges us to plan ahead in our data collection process, store and manage data safely and consistently and vulnerably report our results to our funders and the broader community. It also aids staff in accessing the information they need to effectively monitor expectations and implement improvement plans or changes in response to real-time findings and feedback. For AYA, this plan describes our management philosophy on how things can always be improved and our approach to managing our processes.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Youth deserve to be able to share their voices, influence change, and become leaders in the process of ending youth homelessness. The founding of both organizations, and the ongoing growth of AYA, is intentionally dependent on the authentic engagement and leadership of youth with lived expertise. These deep relationships allow for real conversation, interactive activities, written evaluations, and an engaged youth advisory board. We have also reserved two seats on our Board of Directors for alumni of AYA’s supportive housing program, providing even deeper accountability to evolve and improve internal programs while refining our broader advocacy efforts.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

AYA YOUTH COLLECTIVE
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

AYA YOUTH COLLECTIVE

Board of directors
as of 07/07/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Melissa Jackson

The Vantage Group

Jacques Moss

Amway

Mike Keller

Booking.com

Ja-Quari Moore-Bass

Kentwood Public Schools

Laketa Alexander

Booking.com

Julius Lema

Bissell

Luis Mossburg

AYA Alumni

Alex Torres

Merck Pharmaceuticals

Shawn Perdue

MillerKnoll

Micalah Webster

Spectrum Health

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/12/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/14/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.