360 Youth Services Executive Director of Housing named to governor's commission
Carolyn Wahlskog, a licensed clinical social worker, was recently appointed to Gov. JB Pritzker's Youth Homeless Prevention Subcommittee representing a homelessness advocacy organization, 360 Youth Services in Naperville.
Wahlskog will serve on the newly formed subcommittee along with 14 other individuals representing agencies and organizations from across the state and four youth who have previously experienced homelessness themselves. The committee will review and make recommendations about the discharge policies and procedures for agencies in the state of Illinois that handles youth leaving the state's custody or guardianship to ensure youth housing stability.
The committee was created to better serve youth leaving state systems of care, and to bring Illinois in line with the national goal of ending youth homelessness.
"It is important to me to not only make welcoming housing programs but welcoming communities," Wahlskog said. "It is not enough to run a really great program. We need to lift up youth voice, point out barriers that young people face and be a part of the solution to break down the barriers that prevent young people from being stably housed."
Wahlskog oversees the Cornerstone Group Home for youth in care of DCFS and four Transitional and Rapid Rehousing programs serving youth 18-24 who are experiencing homelessness for 360 Youth Services.
In addition to her role on the Youth Homelessness Prevention Subcommittee, Wahlskog also serves on the Leadership Committee of both the DuPage and Kane County Continuums of Care and chairs the DuPage COC Gaps & Needs Committee. She led 360 Youth Services to receive the 2020 Innovative Inclusion Seal from the Human Rights Campaign for her work in serving LGBTQ+ youth in care. She also was named the 2018 National Association of Social Workers-Illinois Chapter Emergency Leader of the Year.
"My ultimate vision is that we won't need youth housing programs because we will have systems in place that keep families together, broader acceptance for LGBTQ+ youth, that there will be equitable access to jobs, affordable housing and mental health care for young," Wahlskog continued.
For more information on the states Youth and Homelessness Prevention Subcommittee, visit www2.illinois.gov.
360 Youth Services in Naperville, Illinois, provides counseling, and substance use prevention education for youth and families, and provides housing for youth experiencing homelessness.