Each year in Kentucky, hundreds of unaccompanied young adults age 18-24 are unhoused for a variety of reasons — from family breakups to substance abuse to mental health challenges.

Adults in this age range are especially vulnerable because they have aged out of many social service support systems. Without supportive services, they remain at risk.

To engage these young people directly, we operate two programs in Lexington that are specifically designed to serve this demographic: Goodwill LifeLaunch: Ignite 2.0 and the Young Adult Reentry Partnership (YARP).

To help spread the word about these programs, we’ve partnered with iHeartMedia, which will create media campaigns for its app, which has 3 billion downloads and 150 million users.

“iHeartMedia Lexington is committed to investing in the local community,” said Earl Jones, Metro President of iHeartMedia Kentucky in a press release. “It is important that we continue to use our reach to support organizations that are working to better our community and we’re excited to serve some of Lexington’s dedicated organizations.”

Goodwill LifeLaunch: Ignite 2.0

LifeLaunch: Ignite 2.0 – made possible by a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor – serves young adults with criminal backgrounds.

Participants complete eight weeks of job training before being placed in a Work & Learn program, where they attend Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) to earn a nationally recognized certification. Simultaneously, they work with an employer partner to obtain hands-on experience.

The collaboration between Goodwill, BCTC and employer partners will assist in reducing recidivism, promote employment readiness and education and support the students to address barriers such as transportation, shelter, food, substance abuse and mental health.

Young Adult Reentry Partnership (YARP)

Additionally, we were awarded a Department of Labor YARP grant for the Lexington area.

This program supports youths and young adults age 16-24 who are not in school or working and/or involved in the juvenile justice and or/child welfare systems, with an emphasis on those who are or have recently been incarcerated or in foster care.

YARP with help young adults in the Lexington are connect with BCTC, where they can earn credentials in welding, business construction, information technology, and culinary.