Face to Face Health and Counseling Service, Inc. (Face to Face) has been serving marginalized youth since 1972 when the agency began as a walk-in crisis counseling and reproductive health clinic serving youth on St. Paul’s East Side. Programming grew to include a full adolescent medical clinic and mental health program. In 1994, the State of Minnesota asked Face to Face to start a drop-in center to be a safe place for youth experiencing homelessness to get off the street and get connected with resources. The result, SafeZone, is still the only drop-in center in St. Paul for homeless youth. Face to Face served over 3,000 youth between the ages of 11 and 24 last year; an additional 5,500 youth were contacted through health education outreach.
Mission and Goals
Face to Face primarily focuses on addressing the health and housing needs of young people ages 11-24, with a recognition of the many factors that impact a young person’s ability to live a healthy, self-sufficient life. The agency mission is: Empowering youth to overcome barriers and strive toward healthy and self-sufficient lives. We accomplish our mission through
- Providing integrated mental health, medical, health education, and case management services to youth and families; and
- Providing specialized services for youth experiencing homelessness.
We focus on serving young people who are low income and face challenges such as lack of family support, homelessness and unstable housing, histories of trauma and/or abuse, unplanned pregnancy, mental health issues, substance abuse challenges, a lack of preventive health care, HIV or STD positive status, and other challenges. The vast majority (over 85 percent) of our young people are people of color and 17 percent identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Our success is built on developing authentic, trusting relationships with youth. We take a positive youth development approach, focusing on the strengths of the young people we serve. We provide youth with support and access to the information and opportunities they need to overcome the barriers in their lives and achieve their goals.