144,000 minutes, 2,400 hours, 100 days: that’s the amount of time that it can take to drastically transform the lives of vulnerable young people or families.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative is committed to providing all young people who have experienced foster care with the resources, relationships, and opportunities they need to thrive and has identified a unique, robust program that stimulates measurable, sustainable changes in just 100 days.
In March 2018, The Jim Casey Initiative will help Lift Up Sarpy County join the likes of sites in California, Ohio, and Texas by championing a 100-Day Challenge. The 100-Day Challenge is a capacity-building, large-scale creative change approach, pioneered by the Rapid Results Institute, which prompts the community to engage and invest in bold and creative ways to build a system response to challenges.
The 100-Day Challenge is a project designed to stimulate intense collaboration, innovation, and execution to achieve a wildly ambitious goal in 100 days.
As a testament to the transformative power of the 100-Day Challenge, in September 2017, A Place 4 Me, the Jim Casey site in Ohio, exceeded its goal of finding housing for 100 homeless youths in 100 days, proving that a short-term intensive approach can create long-term benefits for young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood. The results concretely demonstrate the urgency and importance of this program.
The 100-Day Challenge is an inclusive results-producing project intended to not only make change at the community level but also to help inform and promote a national dialogue that will ultimately lead to positive and sustained policies.
The 100-Day Challenge will help Lift Up Sarpy County, in partnership with Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, to develop new solutions to address challenges affecting young people who have experienced foster care and other vulnerable young people and families. Over the course of 100 days, all partners will work to develop innovative ways to align public and private resources in Sarpy County to create new economic avenues for 50 families and young adults already accessing community response.
“This is a huge opportunity to further the collaboration and strategies needed to get to financial stability for this group of youth and families,” said Gayle Christensen, Community Response Coordinator for Lift Up Sarpy County. “All partners involved have already brought a deep commitment, focus on new solutions, and energy to addressing the needs of youth and families in Sarpy County. As with all ambitious plans, the more people we can bring to the table, the better the outcome will be. We encourage anyone who is interested in being a part of the 100-Day Challenge to contact Lift Up Sarpy County.”
Nebraska will bring a new focus to Sarpy County by deepening the relationship between state and federal economic assistance, youth/family providers, and financial institutions to create and strengthen effective strategies to alleviate poverty.
It will also aim to expand the reach of The Opportunity Passport™, a financial literacy and matched savings program for young people ages 14 to 26 who have experienced foster care, by mobilizing additional corporate and public partners.
By employing the 100-Day Challenge, there will be a concentrated effort between public and private sectors positioned to change mindsets, shift behaviors, forge new relationships, and create brighter futures for many young people and families.
To learn more, please visit http://www.aecf.org/work/child-welfare/jim-casey-youth-opportunities-initiative/.