Spreading the Word ♦ Volunteer Recruitment ♦ Engaging Locations ♦ Survey Incentives
Follow Up Materials ♦ Ways to Contribute ♦ Back to Main Table of Contents
The Youth Count is a statewide effort, but depends on grassroots work in every region. Spreading the word is a combined effort from CCEH and the regional Youth Engagement Teams. Informing people about the youth count through widespread means of communication, such as social media, newspapers, and radio, is important to engage more volunteers, inform homeless youth or young adults that may want to be counted, and educate the public on our efforts to end youth homelessness.
In order to facilitate this effort, CCEH has produced several templates for widespread use to inform people of the youth count and engage organizations and volunteers. In order to access the editable versions of these templates, please email SChess@cceh.org.
For more information on volunteering recruitment, click here.
Outreach to volunteers should target young adults between the age of 18 to 25, since focus groups have found that both youth and young adults preferred having the survey administered by an individual above the age of 18.
While it is our recommendation not to have volunteers under the age of 16 participate as volunteers for the Youth Count, this is up to the regional coordinators and YETI leads to decide.
- Place posters and flyers advertising the Youth Count as a volunteer opportunity in schools, colleges, and universities through their Student Life Centers, Community Services or Engagement offices, through the social work department, or volunteer clubs.
- Be sure to share and post on social media about the Youth Count, targeting community organizations such as those mentioned above.
- Reach out to local and regional media outlets with press releases to get the word out about the count. Also consider suggesting that reporters participate in the Youth Count as part of their coverage of the event. A sample press release will be provided when regions can coordinate the release. For more information, contact Sarah Chess at email@example.com.
The type of communication that would be best to connect with locations depends on the goals of the engagement and type of location.
There are a wide variety of location types that we are seeking to engage in the youth count.
The purpose of engaging schools is to increase awareness among youth and young adults to encourage them to be counted as well as volunteer. For schools, we have developed a school engagement packet which includes materials to introduce the Youth Count and elaborate on the different levels of involvement. Check out these resources in the school engagement packet below.
Youth Serving Organizations
Youth serving agencies have a wide range – from youth departments of a public library to free clinics or parenting centers – and can function as Come and Be Counted locations, organizational connection, and indoor hotspots.
If volunteers are being placed at a table on location for a set period of time, that is a Come and Be Counted Location. If the organization’s staff is taking on the task of administering the survey, than it is an organizational connection. If volunteers will visit the organization along their route, then this is an indoor hotspot.
While businesses are not what we traditionally think of as youth-serving agencies, they can be a popular indoor hotspot for youth and young adults. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts may offer free wifi, or wireless internet, which can provide homeless and unstably housed youth who may not have internet at home or mobile data services with an internet connection. While staff may not be able to administer the survey, they can provide a key hotspot location and share advertising material about the count.
While outdoor spots like under bridges, behind buildings, or public parks may frequented by youth and young adults, it can be challenging to leave communications material in these spaces. Any information or posters that are placed should direct youth to resources, such as to call 211, and a Come and Be Counted location.
Youth Engagement Team regions are budgeted a certain amount to spend on offering survey incentives. These incentives are intended to encourage youth to participate in the survey.
Examples of these incentives include:
- Five-dollar gift cards to popular food locations
- Cheap headphones or other useful and youth-friendly gear
- Coupons for free fries or coffee from nearby locations
While some funding for incentives has been provided in order to engage more youth and volunteers to participate, many Youth Engagement Teams are reaching out further to ask for further contributions for local businesses or community foundations.
If you are purchasing a large amount of incentives, such as five-dollar gift cards or coupons, from a business location ask them to match sponsors for you to get more incentives! This can be a strong negotiation tool in determining where to purchase incentives.
Youth Engagement Teams can pursue grants for the Youth Count incentives and work or for their greater work as a collaboration to end youth homelessness in the region.
If they feel comfortable doing so, volunteers are being asked to consider offering to call 211 with any youth or young adult that indicates a need for services. 211 providers services beyond housing, such as referrals and connections to food security services, healthcare, childcare, etc.
All YETI leads have received a template and some follow-up cards from CCEH. Some Youth Engagement Team regions are providing additional material for volunteers to hand out to those taking the survey. Please make sure to check in with your team or regional leads for more on this material.
We do not want volunteers or other groups to print this material independent of their YETIs, so follow-up material is available by contacting Sarah Chess at firstname.lastname@example.org.