Mayor Reed Gusciora, on January 16 announced the launch, and demonstration of the Youth “WIN” (What I Need) mobile application in the Atrium of City Hall. The application is designed to connect youth within the City to essential services, which are listed on the application dashboard as follows: hotline, shelter, food, crisis, health, drop-in, education, jobs, [government] benefits, and legal. Each icon featured on the dashboard allows the user to access information relating to related services within the Trenton and Mercer County.
Vernett Sherrill, grant administrator for the City’s Division of Community Relations and Social Services stated, “This new tool will allow our City to provide resources and eliminate stigma by connecting our youth with mobile directories with 24/7 emergency support.” Users of the app can connect with a 24/7 emergency provider or counselor directly from the app, which will be helpful for all youth independently of whether or not they are homeless. “When our youth are in physical danger or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, we want them to know where they can go.”
The City of Trenton, in conjunction with the County of Mercer and our Continuum of Care partners, accepted the pledge to prevent and end youth homelessness in 2020. As part of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, the City of Trenton has developed community partnerships to promote, educate, and commit to eliminating homelessness within the Capital City. The WIN application has been identified as a crucial way to establish channels of communication with youth who may feel embarrassed when going to a governmental agency.
Mayor Reed Gusciora stated “The success of this application will not be measured by our ideas, but by our impact. Community stakeholders have been key supporters and we will need the help of all community partners in promoting this.” According to the 2019 Point-in-Time Count, youth homelessness accounts for 25% of total homelessness within the City. Mayor Gusciora asserted “We have pledged to prevent and end youth homelessness in Trenton. The fight to end youth homelessness is a fight that we are prepared to win.”