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.

Human Services and Public Health Department - South Minneapolis

  • 2215 East Lake Street, Minneapolis
  • M – F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Northwest Family Service Center

  • 7051 Brooklyn Boulevard, Brooklyn Center
  • 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.

Housing/shelter

The Coordinated Entry System is the county's approach to organizing and providing housing services for people experiencing homelessness in Hennepin County.

Because housing resources are limited, this process is designed to ensure that individuals and families with the highest vulnerability, service needs, and length of homelessness receive top priority in housing placement.

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.

Minnesota Workforce Centers

Other organizations

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 offers a number of programs to supplement families' and individuals' incomes. The type of assistance people receive depends on their life circumstances, family size and type, and other factors. We can help you find the program that works best for you.

Child support and paternity

Hennepin County works to make sure that children get the support they need.

The county can help to locate parents; establish parentage; and set and enforce court orders for child support, medical support, and child care support.

Child support is the contribution that non-custodial parents make to ensure that their children have adequate care, living expenses, and medical support. All of Minnesota’s 87 counties provide child support services, regardless of families’ socioeconomic status.

Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health provide four primary child support services residents and people who have been issued a court order in Hennepin County:

  • Establishing paternity, including coordinating genetic testing
  • Establishing court orders to pay child support. Cases may be heard in Family Court, before a child support magistrate or district court referee
  • Collecting child support and enforcing court orders
  • Helping families to modify court orders

We do not provide legal advice or counsel, establish custody or parenting time, enforce spousal maintenance, or oversee the collection of unpaid bills. We also do not provide assistance with a legal separation or divorce.

Parenting information

Educational Support Services

ALC Plus

ALC Plus supports county-involved youth (CIY) who have struggled in school or who have had excessive absences from school. ALC Plus integrates educational programming and on-site mental and chemical health services, and coordinates services among county workers, school staff, parents and the students.

LEAP (Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential)

The new Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) initiative aims to increase educational and employment opportunities for youth and young adults, ages 14 to 21 who are in foster care, are involved in the juvenile justice system, are teen parents, and/or are homeless/highly mobile. The Minneapolis LEAP grant pairs the JAG program with the ALC Plus program to ensure a layered level of support for eligible students.

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG)

JAG is a national program dedicated to preventing student dropout and focusing on pathways to career, life, and college readiness among young people who face significant barriers to academic and career success. When appropriate for a young person’s career goals, students are encouraged to enroll in the Destination: Diploma to Degree (D3) at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC.) D3 is an early/middle college program open to only students at eligible alternative schools. D3 is a structured PSEO program that allows students to take developmental education classes and college-level classes while still in high school, thus accelerating their path to a high school diploma and a college degree.

Pathways (MVNA re-engagement centers) – With Pat Avery

MVNA Pathways partners with LEAP and ALC Plus to provide re-engagement to school for out of school youth who are pregnant/parenting teens and for youth involved in juvenile justice. They provide outreach, academic/career assessments, onsite GED prep, career and sector training, paid internships, and case management to students enrolled in the program.

Health care

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

No Wrong Door

The No Wrong Door initiative aims to remove shame and blame from the way Hennepin County interacts with youth who have been, or are at risk of being sexually exploited. A broad philosophy of treating this group of young people as victims and survivors of sexual abuse rather than offenders influences practices across county lines of business, including public health, hospitals and clinics, children’s mental health, homelessness and housing, child welfare and child protection, law enforcement and juvenile corrections, prosecution and the public defender.

Red Door Clinic

The Red Door Clinic offers sexual health services for all people. Get confidential tests and treatment in a safe, caring setting.

Birth control for women

  • Red Door offers pills, patch, ring, IUD, and Depo shot, for women up to age 30.

Condoms and lube

  • Pick them up at the clinic, free of charge.
  • Red Door has non-latex condoms and female condoms.

Sexual health education

  • You can talk with our sexual health educator, at no cost to you, about all topics related to healthy sexuality including birth control, safer sex, and healthy sexual relationships.
  • Call the clinic at 612-543-5555.

Needle exchange

  • Red Door offers needles and works at no cost to you so you can use fresh supplies every time.
  • You can drop off used needles and get new needles and works (cookers, cottons, ties, and alcohol preps)
  • Monday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday 1 to 4 p.m.

Stop an overdose with Narcan

  • Narcan (Naloxone) is a medication used to stop heroin or other opiate (e.g., percocet, OxyContin) overdose.
  • Anyone can get Narcan without a prescription at Red Door for themselves, friends, or family members.
  • Ask the receptionist or any Red Door staff for Narcan. We’ll ask you a few questions, but will not report names or addresses to anyone.

NorthPoint Health & Wellness

To The Point is a family planning and sexual health program located within the NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center. Our program can provide no-cost pregnancy and STI testing, birth control and pregnancy options, education and counseling, rapid no-cost HIV testing, no-cost safer sex supplies including condoms and lubricant, insurance coverage for your family planning or sexual health needs, information and scheduling for vasectomy or tubal ligation procedures, and no-cost emergency contraception for anyone ages 15 and up. Free condoms and safer sex supplies are available in the Family Planning office on the lower level of NorthPoint during normal business hours. Family Planning and sexual health staff are available M-F, 8:30-4:30. You can call us anytime at 612-543-6737.

Myself My Health

The Myself My Health website lists teen and young adult friendly clinics in the Twin Cities metro area that provide sexual and reproductive health care. There are also trusted online resources for sexual health information.

School based mental health

The Hennepin County-wide School Mental Health Initiative is a partnership between 15 mental health agencies, 17 school districts, 152 schools, nine PICA Headstarts, and Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health. The initiative also receives support from health insurance companies, local foundations, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Attendees of the school-based mental health breakout session will learn the history and current status of the School Mental Health Initiative. They’ll also learn how the program works and what it offers students, families, and school staff. Panelists will discuss how school, mental health, and county staff collaborate to support the growth and success of students and families in Hennepin County schools.

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

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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