Our mission: Empowering youth to overcome barriers and strive toward healthy and self-sufficient lives.
Who we serve & what we do
Since 1972, Face to Face has been serving young people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless in Ramsey County. Today, we provide comprehensive medical care, mental healthcare, housing support, case management, employment training and support, and other social services to low-income and insecurely housed youth ages 11 to 24.
Face to Face served over 2,500 youth between the ages of 11 and 24 last year. We connected with an additional 5,500 youth through our health education outreach. The vast majority (over 85 percent) of our young people are people of color and 17 percent identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
The unique way we approach our work
Don’t do anything about us, without us. The young people that we serve are at the center of our decision making. Made up of a group of 12 youth ages 18 to 24, our Youth Advisory Council is responsible for guiding our decisions about how we do our work.
This is why our success is built upon 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.
Face to Face participated in the development of 9 Evidence-based Principles to Help Youth Overcome Homelessness. We use these guiding principles to inform our work. Click here to learn more about these principles.
Equipped to serve the whole person
In addition to the youth-centered and culturally competent approach that we take to our work, we also provide what we call comprehensive services. We are about supporting young adults as whole human beings. Regardless of the issue that a young person comes to us with, we are prepared to connect them with solutions, whether they are resources we can provide directly or partner organizations we can refer them to. In that sense, we are a one-stop shop equipped to help young people with whatever challenges they may be facing.
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.