In response to the growing needs of high-risk youth, 180 Degrees is creating a Youth Development Campus on St. Paul’s East Side, which now serves as the organization’s base of East Metro operations. The organization purchased the property in 2011, and has renovated one building on the site, now the main program center. The Youth Development Campus will include critical components to complement 180 Degrees’ programs already in service at the main program building,
Girls who have been sexually exploited, trafficked, or enjoined in other illegal, counter-productive behaviors are a desperately under-served population. Because of 180 Degrees’ long history of successful outcomes working with at-risk youth, many leaders from numerous sectors are calling on us to help develop shelter and related services for the growing number of girls and young women who are being sexually exploited. 180 Degrees is collaborating with many community partners to develop best practice-informed programming and services for shelter residents.
The Center will serve as a point of referral for youth who have come to the attention of law enforcement officers for low level offenses, status offenses, and other at risk behaviors. Through the Center, 180 Degrees will provide a number of services to the young person and their family. The Center will be open and available to assist law enforcement with low-level and status offenders anytime of the day or night, every day of the week. Rather than the officers being tied up searching for an appropriate place for this child to go, youth will be dropped off at the center. 180 staff members will assess the youth’s needs and reconnect them with their family or a responsible adult. Youth served through the Center will have access to 180 Degrees’ integrated services and a safe place to secure those services. With these services, youth can achieve positive, long-term outcomes. The short-term goal is to prevent the criminalization of young victims of exploitation and low level juvenile offenders by providing a point of entry for positive, supportive services that work with the youth and their family.