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Youth Advocacy Board | 9/01/2022

Yesterday we prepared for the New Mexico Housing Youth Core Team Meeting. The Core team meeting is happening this upcoming Wednesday (9/7/22) at 10:30 AM until noon. We started by going over some topics from previous core team meetings like the Landlord Collaboration Program. CYFD and MFA got together and created an incredible system to incentivize landlords renting to youth. This program can provide reimbursement for damages up to $2,500 and up to $1,000 for repairs needed to bring a unit to HUD standards. They can also cover one month’s rent for vacancy losses during repairs. A HUGE part of this program is the Landlord Liaison! The liaison can provide check in’s and help resolve any issues that come up during tenancy. Something else that has been discussed is barriers to youth receiving services and staying involved. The biggest barrier seems to be staying connected either because their phones are lost or only work near wifi or they simply don’t have one. Yesterday we also brought up that we are in a very rural area so sometimes cell reception is scarce or there is no public wifi. How can we best address this barrier?

We then looked at a screen shot of last month’s Core team meeting and went over who’s who and what organization they are with because a lot of the same people will be there this time and I want you all to be familiar with who we are talking to and working with .We did some practice questions too. What does success look like? We agreed that success looks different for everyone and a small task to one could be a huge accomplishment to another. We discussed how setting personal goals and being able to accomplish them is a good way to measure and achieve successes. YAB decided we want to pose this question to the providers and see if their ideas line up with ours and what middle ground can we find?

We talked about Landlords and how we feel about the tenant/landlord relationship. A Lot of us felt intimidated by our landlords. It was expressed that we feel anxiety when having to interact with them whether we are late for rent or something is broken in the home. The general consensus was that landlords hold all the power and that creates an uncomfortable dynamic. Landlords and renting also come with leases and we found that many of us don’t fully understand our leases. A lease is there to protect both tenant and landlord but if you don’t understand what it says it doesn’t always feel like that. These are topics that we definitely plan on bringing to the core team meeting.

We finished the meeting by coming up with questions and talking points for the core team meeting. Last month we had a very structured agenda but only got about a quarter of the way through it because the magic really happened when we just allowed open dialogue. So this month I think we will keep it conversational but we have our talking points and questions prepared to guide the conversation (see attachment). We also needed an ice breaker to start off the meeting but we came up with too many good ones so I created a poll to see which to use so please vote on that ASAP! Here is the link to the poll: https://forms.gle/Y6dT9kLnGBEsQoQR9

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