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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Implementing A Social Enterprise Intervention With Homeless Street-Living Youths in Los Angeles
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Homeless, street-dwelling youths are an at-risk population who often use survival behaviors to meet their basic needs. The traditional outreach approach brings services into the streets, yet does not adequately replace the youths' high-risk behaviors. Similarly, job training programs often fail to address the mental health issues that constitute barriers to their productive employment. Drawing on social development principles, the Social Enterprise Intervention (SEI) model is proposed as an alternative approach. The SEI seeks the tripartite effect of employment, service-related, and mental health outcomes for street youths. This article compares existing intervention models and suggests that through the SEI, homeless youths can acquire vocational and business skills, clinical mentorship, and linkages to services that otherwise would not be available to them, given their street-dwelling status. (Author)
Social Work