360 Youth Services Highlighted
As June comes to a close, we highlight a local program that serves our youth, particularly those in the LGBTQ+ community.
Who is 360 Youth Services?
Founded in 1971 by a group of caring adults, 360 Youth Services provides life-changing services to empower youth for healthy, independent adulthoods. We envision a community where all young people – even the most vulnerable – have the capacity to thrive. We serve youth, families, schools in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Will and surrounding counties with:
Substance Use Prevention: We teach substance use prevention to students in two large, diverse school districts (Naperville District 203 and Indian Prairie District 204) and lead a Community Alliance for Prevention supported by the Office of National Drug Control Policy with partners in health care, social services, government, business, law enforcement, faith groups and education.
Mental Health Counseling: We offer individual and family counseling for youth aged 10 to 25, crisis intervention for youth aged 13-17 who are at risk of involvement with the juvenile justice or foster care systems, and school-based counseling for students in need of social-emotional support. We serve all families regardless of ability to pay and specialize in meeting the needs of marginalized youth and families.
Youth-Specific Housing: We provide developmentally-appropriate shelter for youth aged 13-24 who are experiencing homelessness. Programs include a group home for teen boys aged 13-17; and, transitional housing, rapid rehousing, and new this year – a Youth Emergency Shelter, all serving young people 18-24. Comprehensive support services help them heal and empower them to thrive, e.g. individual case management, trauma-informed counseling, access to health care and disability services, life skills training, educational and vocational support, financial literacy training, legal aid, transportation assistance, and access to recreation and wellness facilities.
We are committed to increasing our cultural competence to serve all marginalized young people including youth of color, non-binary youth, and transgender youth. We provide affirming counseling for LGBTQ+ and transgender youth and operate one of two LGBTQ+ specific transitional housing programs in Illinois. In 2020, we were awarded the Human Rights Campaign “All Children, All Families” Inclusion Innovation Seal – their highest tier of recognition – for inclusive practices for LGBTQ+ youth in care. Our Culture Team is identifying ways in which our agency can be more actively anti-racist in all of our policies and practices.
Advocacy: We lead social change in our community through community education and advocacy on behalf of marginalized groups. For example, we help educate teachers and school districts on LGBTQ+ rights and creating affirming school environments. We educate the community on youth mental health topics and speak to schools, parents, and faith groups on topics related to youth mental health such as depression, bullying, and suicide prevention.
To find out more about this wonderful organization, visit 360youthservices.org