Teen Feed Youth Access to Care (YAC) In Year #2

We were excited to announce the launch of Teen Feed’s new Youth Access to Care (YAC) program on year ago.  Now in our second year we continue to providing support for homeless and street-involved youth and young adults accessing healthcare resources.  We are growing.

The first of its kind in Washington State, the YAC Program helps youth navigate complicated healthcare systems to make positive choices and live healthy lives.

Only when the immediate needs of homeless youth are met, can they begin to identify goals and develop a strategy to exit street life. One important component of such strategies is access to affordable healthcare. Access to affordable and supportive healthcare is a critical next step for youth managing mental health and chemical dependency challenges as well as the emotional and physical impacts of homelessness.

In November 2013, Teen Feed entered into a partnership with the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (WHBE) as In-Person Outreach and Enrollment Assisters, helping homeless, at-risk, and food insecure youth enroll in Medicaid or qualified health plans.  Youth in need work with specially trained Teen Feed staff members to help them determine eligibility for financial assistance, compare plans side-by-side, and to select and enroll in a health plan that’s right for them.

And yet, finding and selecting a health plan is only the first step. That is where Teen Feed’s new program, YAC picks up. The program will support Teen Feed’s ongoing process of enrolling homeless youth and young adults into insurance programs, and provide a warm hand-off to each individual’s new primary care provider, helping them develop a health action plan to meet their individual needs with self-directed goals and activities.

YAC coordinators will help youth:

  • find providers within a network
  • choose a primary care provider
  • follow through on scheduled appointments
  • build supportive and positive relationships with care providers

The goal of YAC is to help homeless youth actively participate in their wellness, making positive choices to help them optimize health and well-being to achieve stability.

Teen Feed’s YAC program is funded by a $100,000 grant from the Pacific Hospital Preservation & Development Authority (PHPDA). PHPDA’s mission is to champion effective health care for vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our community.  PHPDA’s generous support of YAC allows Teen Feed to broaden its immediate basic needs support for youth, to help the young people we serve get the most out of their newly acquired health benefits.

The YAC program is open to all youth & young adult service providers in King County and will complement Teen Feed’s existing meal, support coordination, and street outreach programs.

The YAC program will officially launch on August 15, 2014.  For questions, please see the contacts below:

  • If you are a community partner looking to partner with Teen Feed, click here.
  • If you are a service provider interested in learning about available YAC services, click here.
  • For media and all other inquiries, click here.

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