In this “land of opportunity,” employment and housing insecurity can be overwhelming barriers. Without meeting the basic needs of shelter and self-sustainability, many young people struggle to reach their potential, no matter how promising. Oasis for Youth is working to break down those barriers by giving youth in the community an opportunity to find their place in the world.
Oasis for Youth is a trusted resource committed to elevating youth in their own community. With services for youth ages 16-24 that include a drop-in resource center, housing assistance, employment support, and outreach, Oasis for Youth is dedicated to addressing the barriers and lack of services for the rising number of suburban youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Young people need a chance to build a foundation and create consistent work habits. Mall of America® has partnered with Oasis for Youth for several years to match young people looking for stability with job opportunities in the Mall. To further support these employees who are creating a new foundation for themselves and may be new to stable employment, Oasis for Youth has assisted in training Mall of America team leads on working through potential challenges, like the need for flexibility in scheduling to account for public transit, or the fact that an employee might not have access to email to check a work schedule. Oasis for Youth and Mall of America work together to recognize what employers might take for granted and to come up with new solutions.
This new way of doing business—of encouraging positive work behaviors and focusing on solutions to barriers so employees can learn and grow through their challenges—has led to discussions across the country. Mall leaders have shared with other organizations the value in supporting young workers who may simply need some additional patience and compassion while they build strong habits.
Sometimes, all it takes is a chance and some guidance to help a young person find their path and improve their life. Everyone deserves to find stability, health, and fulfillment, and Oasis for Youth helps facilitate the resources necessary to get there. Working together, Oasis for Youth and Mall of America help create the environment for new workers and employers to learn together for shared success.