Resources for youth

Young people in need of help have their own sets of issues and questions. This is a highly mobile population with a specific set of needs. Connecting youth to available resources breaks the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Hennepin County Human Services can offer help in many areas, and our community partners are ready to fill in the gaps.

Public internet access is readily available to young people, enabling them to take an active role in accessing services.

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Apply for assistance

The Hennepin County Youth Eligibility team can help connect you to the resources you need.

Fill out an application

Choose an application from the links below, or call 612-596-1300 or toll free 844-803-8466 to have one mailed to you. You can bring the completed form to one of our office locations, or mail it to the address on the form. You also can fill it out when you visit us. Be aware that your benefits will not start until your paperwork is received and processed.

Combined Application Form (PDF)

ApplyMN

MNsure

Visit one of our walk-in locations

Bring identification and documents that serve as proof of your income and proof of your housing and utility costs. Limited drop-in child care is available while you are completing your business in our offices.

  • Century Plaza, 330 South 12th Street, Minneapolis MN 55404, M - F, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Northwest Family Service Center, 7051 Brooklyn Boulevard, Brooklyn Center, MN, 55429, M - F 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • VEAP Community Service Center, 9600 Aldrich Avenue South, Bloomington, M, T, W, F 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Th, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 
  • Human Services and Public Health Department - North Minneapolis, 1001 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis, M-F 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Applications are also taken on Wednesdays at Youthlink, 41 North 12th Street,  Minneapolis, MN 55403. Call 612-252-1200 to make an appointment.

Get help applying

You may have someone else apply for you. To do this, you must write a letter identifying that person as an "authorized representative" who has permission to complete the process on your behalf. If you are in the hospital or homebound, call our office 612-596-1300 or toll free 844-803-8466 for assistance .

Find an interpreter

Available languages vary by office location. If we do not have the appropriate interpreter on site, we will phone an language line for assistance. Please make an appointment if you need American Sign Language interpreter services for the hard-of-hearing.

Get the right assistance

Applicants or clients who do not agree with an action taken on their cases have the right to appeal. A Hennepin County Human Services Representative can help file the appeal forms.

If you ask for the appeal promptly, you can continue to receive assistance while waiting for the appeal to be heard. However, if you lose the appeal, you must pay back any assistance received during that time. You may bring an attorney, advocate, friend, or relative to the appeal hearing.

The State of Minnesota will send a written decision to you after the hearing. Contact the Hennepin County Appeals Office 612-348-2550 or 612-348-8852, or the Minnesota Department of Human Services Appeals office at 651-3600.

Find a job

Job search

Get resume help, career counseling, job placement and support from the following places.

Minnesota Youth Program

The Minnesota Youth Program (MYP) offers work experience and academic activities to low-income and at-risk youth, 14 - 21 years old. Participants get academic enrichment, basic skills training, work-based learning, personal counseling, drug awareness training, vocational counseling, and life skills training. Participants learn the importance of building a strong work ethic and participating as a member of a team.

Supports such as transportation and child care are available.

This program is funded by the state of Minnesota.

Hennepin youth employment programs

Youth employment and training programs provide year-round and summer jobs and individualized training services to economically disadvantaged youth, 14 - 24 years old, as well as youth with disabilities.

Participants also can be pregnant or parenting, homeless, runaways, foster children, or youth who need support to complete an educational program or to get and keep a job.

Services include assessment, work experience, basic skills training, mentoring, follow-up, supportive services as needed, and training to help youth develop as citizens and leaders.

The program is funded by the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Minnesota Youth Program (MYP) and Hennepin County.

To apply, youth in suburban Hennepin County should apply directly with Tree Trust or by calling 952-767-3880.

Child care

If you are a teen parent, it is important for you to feel confident that your child is in good hands while you work.

Child care assistance

Related links

Get health care

Before scheduling an appointment, make sure the provider accepts your insurance. To replace your Medical Assistance card, call 612-596-1300 or toll free 844-803-8466.

Health insurance

To apply for medical assistance in Hennepin County, visit the links below:

Health clinics

Clinic referrals

Mental and chemical health

Earn your diploma or degree

High school or GED

  • To enroll or re-enroll in Minneapolis Schools, call 612-668-1840.
  • To get a General Educational Development (GED) referral at the Youth Opportunity Center, contact 612-252-1200 or visit www.youthlinkmn.org.
  • To learn about education resources for young parents, call the Minnesota Visiting Nurses Association at 612-777-8457.
  • To connect with advocates for youth with disabilities, contact the PACER Center at 952-838-9000 or visit www.pacer.org.
  • To learn about online school options, visit mnlearningcommons.org.

Higher education help

If you were in foster care at all after your 16th birthday, you may be eligible for an Education and Training Voucher, which can provide as much as $5,000 for college, including two-year, four-year or certificate programs.

If you have aged out of Hennepin County foster care but are younger than 21, you may still apply. If you are eligible, you can receive benefits until you turn 23.  Students can use money for school and living expenses. Call 612-543-0542 for information.

Benefits for Minneapolis and St. Paul grads

If you graduated from a Minneapolis or St. Paul high school, you may qualify for free tuition at certain colleges. Talk to your high school counselor about The Power of You program or call 612-659-4660.

Help for first-generation college students

TRIO is a program that helps first generation youth prepare for, enter and complete college. Talk to your high school counselor or call 612-250-4660.

Child care

If you are a young parent, it is essential that you continue your education. Hennepin County can help ensure that your child is in good hands while you are in class, with child care assistance.

Help for young parents

Hennepin County and our partners can help you to support and care for your family and continue your education.

Public assistance

  • Hennepin County human services offers a full assessment of your needs and the services that will help you. Call 612-348-4111.
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food vouchers for pregnant women or parents with children younger than 5. Call 612-348-6100 or visit one of our offices.
  • Child care assistance is available to support you and your family while you work or go to school.

Parenting information

Health care

  • Child and Teen Checkups can help you find a clinic for your child or for you if you are younger than 20, and arrange transportation to individualized appointments.

Child care

  • If you are a young parent, it is essential that you continue your education. Hennepin County can help ensure that your child is in good hands while you are in class, with child care assistance.

Transitioning out of foster care

Young people who are aging out of foster care can take charge of their own destinies in a youth transition conference. Drawing on their strengths, interests and goals, as well as a circle of support, the process helps teens to set a course for future independence and life success.  

The conference is a series of meetings to help young people to plan for living independently. This voluntary, youth-driven process is facilitated by a neutral moderator. Typically, follow-up conferences are held to monitor progress, provide accountability and adapt the plan to the youth’s changing needs.
Youth Transition Conferencing is a process of three to five meetings. The young person will:

  • Develop a vision of the future, instead of seeing only the here and now
  • Learn to set goals, accomplish tasks and monitor results
  • Try new activities and make independent decisions
  • Recognize strengths and capacities, and develop a sense of control 
  • Work to maintain an ongoing support network 

Get started

Ideally, the youth will begin this process at 16 to 17 years old. People younger than 21 who are re-engaging with county services after leaving the system also may benefit from the process. 

Follow- up conferences can occur about every four to six months. Young people are expected to make progress on their plans, but also will have the opportunity to make changes and ask for help.

Interested young people should discuss the youth transition conference process with their primary social workers and complete the referral forms, and the a Family Group Conferencing authorization forms. A Hennepin County family group conferencing facilitator will contact the youth to confirm the invitation list and to answer questions. 

Important considerations

Some issues may make it more difficult for young people to successfully accomplish their goals, including substance abuse, a current mental health crisis, significant mental health issues, serious parent/child relationship concerns, on-going medical needs, ongoing needs as they reach adulthood that will require adult services support/intervention.  At times, youth may need to be stabilized before beginning or completing the process.

Staff involvement

The young person’s primary social worker will attend all meetings, to provide information about the youth transition conference process, and to help the young person to finding and accessing resources to live independently. Other advocates may include tribal representatives and Guardians ad Litem.

View a video about Youth in Transition Conferencing.

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