Homeless Youth Survey Completion - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Homeless Youth Survey Completion

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BILLINGS -

A debriefing session gets underway Tuesday night for volunteers involved with the Tumbleweed Homeless Survey Program.

Tumbleweed Runaway Program, a non-profit which provides services to homeless youth together with Billings Metro VISTA members conducts the first survey of its kind in Montana. AmeriCorps VISTA Tumbleweed member Joshua Downes was one of those involved with administering the survey throughout Billings.

"There was a kid that was 10 years old that was telling me that he wanted to become a surgeon and go to medical school, there's another one, football player, so its great to see," says Downes. 

It's a way to gather a broader definition of data for homeless youth in Billings. Volunteers will most likely have results by the end of the summer.

"Right now were currently in the process of going through all the data, analyzing and compiling it to produce a funnel report that will be given to tumbleweed as well as social service organizations and the city," says Downes.

The survey is a way to provide information, which according to AmeriCorps VISTA Tumbleweed member Chelsia Davis, will help Tumbleweed better target its efforts to prevent youth homelessness in the Magic City.

"Hopefully getting people to look at this information to see either how they can help or maybe service providers, how they can take a look at their services and see what they are doing and how they can make it better," says Davis.

Tumbleweed is even adopting a new program, HopeLink, the focus of which is to place homeless youths in their own apartments. Those involved with the program hope to get an important message across:

"Don't judge a book by its cover, you don't necessarily know everyone's story and everyone's story is very complicated," says Davis.

More than 20 volunteers helped to administer the survey around various zones in Billings. One possible solution to the homeless problem, the HopeLink transitional living program, hopes to have about 20 people placed in apartments by the end of this year.

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