2.3 A Spectrum of Youth Housing: Services and Models that Work for Youth

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Providers, advocates, and funders are exploring ways to adapt adult services to meet the developmental needs of young adults and families with young parents This workshop will explore housing and service models that have the potential to improve outcomes.

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  • copyright Lighthouse Youth Services, Inc. 2007
  • 2.3 A Spectrum of Youth Housing: Services and Models that Work for Youth

    1. 1. A Spectrum Of Youth Housing : Services and Models that Work for Youth
    2. 2. Presented by: <ul><li>Mark J Kroner LISW </li></ul><ul><li>Director, Lighthouse Training Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Lighthouse Youth Services Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Cincinnati, Ohio 45206 </li></ul><ul><li>513-487-7130 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
    3. 3. Lighthouse Youth Services <ul><li>Foster Care </li></ul><ul><li>Group Homes </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Crisis Shelter </li></ul><ul><li>Family Services </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Outreach Services </li></ul><ul><li>Independent Living </li></ul><ul><li>Transitional Living </li></ul><ul><li>In-home/Wrap-around services </li></ul><ul><li>Correctional Services </li></ul><ul><li>Help Me Grow for high-risk infants and toddlers </li></ul><ul><li>Charter school </li></ul>
    4. 4. Youth are homeless due to: <ul><li>1. Family realities (such as extreme poverty, loss of parents, parental loss of employment, parental mental illness/chemical dependency/criminality). </li></ul><ul><li>2. Personal issues of the youth (such as refusal to follow rules of family, mental illness, developmental disabilities, chemical dependency, criminality). </li></ul><ul><li>3. Community/economic realities (such as high crime, the lack of affordable housing and available jobs for both parents and youth in a community). </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Preventing youth,16-19, in the child welfare system from becoming homeless ( started in 1981 ) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>= Independent Living </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Preventing young adults 18-24 from remaining homeless ( started in 1990 ) </li></ul><ul><li>= Transitional Living </li></ul>
    6. 6. Why the Need for Youth Housing? <ul><li>The child welfare system exists to protect children and youth but struggles with how to transition youth out of the system in a planned way . </li></ul><ul><li>Liability issues prevent many communities from giving older youth a chance to live without 24 hour supervision . The result is that youth end up trying to learn to live independently without any adult support or they live in supervised settings which do not resemble where they will be post-discharge. </li></ul><ul><li>Efforts to connect youth with adoptive or relative families should continue but these situations do not always work out over the long term. Some of these youth will return to previous care givers in need of emergency and long term housing. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Why the Need for Youth Housing? Cont’d <ul><li>While the number of children and youth in foster care nationally is going down, the number of youth aging out of foster care is going up . Older youth are making up a larger percentage of child welfare rolls than in the past. The latest number on youth aging out annually is over 30,000. There are many possible reasons for this increase. </li></ul><ul><li>A significant number of youth have chronic mental health issues and have difficulty living with others, especially older adults. They will need assistance for the rest of their lives and we need to connect them to existing services or create them. </li></ul><ul><li>Housing first models have shown promise for many. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Why the Need for Youth Housing? Cont’d <ul><li>Many youth are entering the child welfare system for first time at a later age (15-17.5). There is not always enough time (or assigned staff) to find foster or adoptive homes. Most states still are under pressure to discharge youth soon after they turn 18. </li></ul><ul><li>Communities are finding it harder to find adoptive/foster parents for older youth. When they do, these situations don’t always work out. </li></ul><ul><li>Some older youth do not want to be adopted or stay in a foster or other home . They already have bio families they are involved with and care about but can’t live with them-often due to their parents’ chronic problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Some homeless youth have already been adopted but it didn’t work out when they became teens. They are not as willing to give another adoption a try. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Why the Need for Youth Housing? Cont’d <ul><li>Non-biological “Forever families” aren’t always forever. However, separate housing can often help sustain permanent connections with caring adults by taking away the pressures of living together. </li></ul><ul><li>New legislation will hopefully extend foster care to 21 in all states. Many youth will not want to stay in their current group/foster homes until they are 21 . These youth will need other housing options. </li></ul><ul><li>Many successfully discharged youth from the foster care and homeless adult systems return later needing housing- as is the case for “normal” American youth. </li></ul>
    10. 10. The Lighthouse Youth Services Transition System <ul><li>Self-sufficiency training Youth Crisis Center </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Outreach Program Independent Living </li></ul><ul><li>Transitional Youth Program Emancipated Youth Program </li></ul><ul><li>Transitional Living Program Shelter Plus Care </li></ul><ul><li>Re-Entry Program Community-management </li></ul><ul><li>In-home/ Wrap-around services Work Appreciation for Youth </li></ul>
    11. 11. Housing Options <ul><li>Scattered-site apartments (private & subsidized) </li></ul><ul><li>Shared-homes </li></ul><ul><li>Supervised apartments </li></ul><ul><li>Host/relative homes </li></ul><ul><li>Boarding homes </li></ul><ul><li>Adult roommate apartments </li></ul><ul><li>Trailers </li></ul><ul><li>Dorms </li></ul><ul><li>Shelters *Other? </li></ul>
    12. 12. Definitions of Common Independent Living Housing Options <ul><li>Supervised Apartments - a cluster or complex of apartments occupied by a group of youth preparing for Independent Living usually with a staff person living in one of the units or using a unit as an office. 24-hour coverage is often provided. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized Family foster homes - a situation in which a youth is placed with a community family specially licensed to provide care and sometimes specifically trained to provide independent living services. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Shelters - a facility whose purpose is to provide short-term emergency housing to teens in crisis. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Live-in Roommates - a situation in which a youth shares an apartment with an adult or student who serves as a mentor or role model. The apartment can be rented or owned by either the adult or the agency. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Host homes - a situation in which a youth rents a room in a family or single adult's home, sharing basic facilities and agreeing to basic rules while being largely responsible for his/her own life. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    13. 13. Definitions of Common Independent Living Arrangement Options cont’d* <ul><li>Boarding Homes - a facility that provides individual rooms for youth or young adults, often with shared facilities and minimal supervisory expectations. </li></ul><ul><li>Shared Houses - a minimally supervised house shared by several young adults who take full responsibility for the house and personal affairs. </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-Supervised Apartments ( scattered site apartments )- a privately owned apartment rented by an agency or youth in which a youth functions independently with financial support, training and some monitoring. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Single-Room Occupancy -A room for rent, often near a city center </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized Group Homes -Sometimes also referred to as semi-independent living programs, these homes are usually staffed as a group home but house older teens and focus on developing self-sufficiency skills. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Subsidized Housing - government supported low-income housing. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>*TLP definitions vary from region to region. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Scattered-site Apartments: advantages <ul><li>Can be private or subsidized </li></ul><ul><li>Youth can choose location </li></ul><ul><li>Cuts down on “crowd control” problems </li></ul><ul><li>Agency does not have to purchase/maintain property. </li></ul><ul><li>The clients can keep the apartment and furnishings. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Scattered-site Apartments: advantages-cont’d <ul><li>Can be shut down quickly if needed </li></ul><ul><li>The living arrangement resembles where they might actually live. </li></ul><ul><li>Youth is challenged to develop coping skills, assertiveness skills and daily self-sufficiency skills due to necessity </li></ul><ul><li>If one youth doesn’t work out the site can be re-used. </li></ul><ul><li>Size of program is not limited to agency owned property </li></ul>
    16. 16. Scattered-site Apartments: disadvantages <ul><li>Labor intensive </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of travel time for staff </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t control neighbors/friends/family </li></ul><ul><li>Lot of unsupervised time </li></ul><ul><li>Liability issues/Risk of property damage </li></ul><ul><li>Loneliness issues </li></ul><ul><li>Less interaction with other people </li></ul>
    17. 17. Shared-homes: advantages <ul><li>More supervision </li></ul><ul><li>Social skills lessons from living with others </li></ul><ul><li>Chance for positive modeling from resident manager </li></ul><ul><li>Agency can collect rents/gain equity </li></ul><ul><li>Property can be donated to agency </li></ul><ul><li>Program can take in higher-risk youth </li></ul><ul><li>Can be used as a back-up plan </li></ul>
    18. 18. Shared-homes: disadvantages <ul><li>Youth interactions might be negative </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with mix of youth </li></ul><ul><li>Can draw neighborhood attention </li></ul><ul><li>Can draw attention of other youth groups </li></ul><ul><li>Agency has to maintain property </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t be shut down easily </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to find/keep resident managers </li></ul>
    19. 19. Supervised Apartments: advantages <ul><li>More supervision </li></ul><ul><li>Social skills lessons from living with others </li></ul><ul><li>Chance for positive modeling from resident manager </li></ul><ul><li>Agency can collect rents/gain equity </li></ul><ul><li>Property can be donated to agency </li></ul><ul><li>Program can take in higher-risk youth </li></ul><ul><li>Youth have separate apartments </li></ul><ul><li>Easier to find resident managers </li></ul>
    20. 20. Supervised Apartments: disadvantages <ul><li>Youth interactions might be negative </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with mix of youth </li></ul><ul><li>Can draw neighborhood attention </li></ul><ul><li>Can draw attention of other youth groups </li></ul><ul><li>Agency has to maintain property </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t be shut down easily </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to find/keep resident managers </li></ul>
    21. 21. Host/relative homes: advantages <ul><li>Can be in any location </li></ul><ul><li>More supervision </li></ul><ul><li>Positive role-modeling of adult host </li></ul><ul><li>Can be long-term living arrangement </li></ul><ul><li>Can provide more emotional support </li></ul><ul><li>Can be used as a back-up plan </li></ul><ul><li>Can be used for special needs youth </li></ul>
    22. 22. Host/relative homes: disadvantages <ul><li>Hard to find willing hosts </li></ul><ul><li>Hosts can be problematic </li></ul><ul><li>Less chance for youth to act independently </li></ul><ul><li>Risk of allegations </li></ul><ul><li>Risk of property damage </li></ul>
    23. 23. Boarding Homes: advantages <ul><li>Can be easy to access </li></ul><ul><li>Can have 24 hour awake staff </li></ul><ul><li>Can offer other services </li></ul><ul><li>Can be rented by the week or month </li></ul><ul><li>Can be back-up plan </li></ul><ul><li>Can be centrally located </li></ul><ul><li>Can be furnished with low deposit </li></ul>
    24. 24. Boarding Homes: disadvantages <ul><li>Might not be in good neighborhoods </li></ul><ul><li>Other residents could have negative influence </li></ul><ul><li>Liability issues </li></ul>
    25. 25. Roommate apartments: advantages <ul><li>Can be in any location </li></ul><ul><li>More supervision </li></ul><ul><li>Positive role-modeling of adult host </li></ul><ul><li>Can be long-term living arrangement </li></ul><ul><li>Can provide more emotional support </li></ul><ul><li>Can be used as a back-up plan </li></ul><ul><li>Can be used for special needs youth </li></ul>
    26. 26. Roommate apartments: disadvantages <ul><li>Hard to find willing roommates </li></ul><ul><li>Hosts can be problematic </li></ul><ul><li>Less chance for youth to act independently </li></ul><ul><li>Risk of allegations </li></ul><ul><li>Risk of property damage </li></ul>
    27. 27. Trailers: advantages <ul><li>Can be useful in rural communities </li></ul><ul><li>Location can be flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Trailer can be purchased </li></ul>
    28. 28. Trailers: disadvantages <ul><li>Other lot tenants can be problematic </li></ul><ul><li>Less supervision </li></ul><ul><li>Might attract other youth </li></ul><ul><li>Youth might have to move again </li></ul>
    29. 29. Shelters: advantages <ul><li>Can be used as intake point and respite/back up </li></ul><ul><li>Can be accessed immediately </li></ul>
    30. 30. Shelters: disadvantages <ul><li>Not a long term solution </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to other youth with issues </li></ul><ul><li>Community might not have shelter </li></ul><ul><li>Shelter might be managed by another agency </li></ul>
    31. 31. Other options?
    32. 32. The Continuum of IL/TL Housing Options <ul><li>Institutions Residential treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Group homes Foster Homes </li></ul><ul><li>Family home Relative homes </li></ul><ul><li>Shelters Boarding homes </li></ul><ul><li>Host homes Adult roommates </li></ul><ul><li>Shared homes Supervised Apts. </li></ul><ul><li>Dormitories Scattered-site Apts. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Subsidized housing </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    33. 34. <ul><li>Desired Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Available housing/shelter throughout the transition process </li></ul><ul><li>Experience in living independently </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of budgeting and money-management </li></ul><ul><li>issues - learned from classes and experience </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of basic life skills information </li></ul><ul><li>Increased sense of personal responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Connections to caring adults </li></ul><ul><li>Connections to educational, employment and health resources </li></ul>
    34. 35. Desired Outcomes-cont’d <ul><li>A vision of a possible positive future </li></ul><ul><li>Connections to adolescent and adult community resources </li></ul><ul><li>Time to grow up & opportunities to “fail safely” </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable housing at discharge </li></ul><ul><li>A chance to keep all furnishings </li></ul><ul><li>No need to move again at discharge </li></ul><ul><li>A chance to adjust to a new neighborhood </li></ul>
    35. 36. Things to be considered when considering housing option costs: <ul><li>Zoning rules </li></ul><ul><li>Licensing requirements/limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Time until start-up </li></ul><ul><li>Insurance </li></ul><ul><li>Required building safety upgrades </li></ul><ul><li>Staff coverage requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Neighborhood issues: NIMBY, Police awareness, safety issues, convenience </li></ul><ul><li>School district issues </li></ul><ul><li>Location preferred by clients? </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul>
    36. 37. Things to be considered-continued <ul><li>Affordability/ “Keep-ability” </li></ul><ul><li>Referral source choice </li></ul><ul><li>Court support/choice </li></ul><ul><li>Length of time client can stay </li></ul><ul><li>Potential for and consequences of being closed by agency/community </li></ul><ul><li>Client contribution toward rent? </li></ul><ul><li>Grant supported property/Grants to do rehab </li></ul><ul><li>Donated property </li></ul><ul><li>Staff back-up for supervised apts. </li></ul><ul><li>-vacations, sick days, training days etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Site reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Re-usability of apt. by other clients </li></ul>
    37. 38. $ ources of Funding for IL/TLPs <ul><li>Per diem contracts </li></ul><ul><li>State, Federal or City grants or subsidies </li></ul><ul><li>Chafee Independent Living Funds </li></ul><ul><li>Grants from Foundations </li></ul><ul><li>Private donations of cash, property, gifts </li></ul><ul><li>Contributions of Civic/Faith based groups </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising events </li></ul><ul><li>HUD/FUP </li></ul><ul><li>United Way </li></ul><ul><li>Merging with other agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Client contributions </li></ul><ul><li>Business donations of needed supplies </li></ul><ul><li>Medicaid </li></ul>
    38. 39. Why Landlords Like Us <ul><li>We guarantee rent </li></ul><ul><li>Tighter rules than landlords </li></ul><ul><li>24/7/365 On-call </li></ul><ul><li>Coverage of damages </li></ul><ul><li>We handle confrontations </li></ul><ul><li>We clean up messes </li></ul><ul><li>We evict if necessary </li></ul><ul><li>We limit visitors </li></ul><ul><li>We have a steady flow of renters </li></ul><ul><li>We monitor & supervise client s </li></ul>L10
    39. 40. Housing Supervision and Monitoring Strategies <ul><li>Live-in peers </li></ul><ul><li>Daily visits by staff </li></ul><ul><li>Regularly scheduled visits/phone contact </li></ul><ul><li>Random visits </li></ul><ul><li>Youth meets staff at office </li></ul><ul><li>Visits by volunteers/mentors/students </li></ul><ul><li>Buddy system </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly group meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Clients call in daily </li></ul><ul><li>Contacts with neighbors/landlords </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Contracted surveillance </li></ul><ul><li>Global positioning earrings/dental implants </li></ul>
    40. 41. Needed Client-Related Policies <ul><li>Aftercare Account </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping Appointments </li></ul><ul><li>Apartment Condition </li></ul><ul><li>Keys </li></ul><ul><li>Budgeting Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Lending/Borrowing Money </li></ul><ul><li>Care of Furnishings </li></ul><ul><li>Medical Problems </li></ul><ul><li>Cars </li></ul><ul><li>Medication </li></ul><ul><li>Child Care </li></ul><ul><li>Pets </li></ul><ul><li>Curfew </li></ul><ul><li>Tenant Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Disciplinary Measures </li></ul><ul><li>Unauthorized Purchases </li></ul><ul><li>Education Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Phones </li></ul><ul><li>Emergencies </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Utilities </li></ul><ul><li>Grounds for Early Termination </li></ul><ul><li>Visitor Control </li></ul><ul><li>Harboring Runaways </li></ul><ul><li>Weapons </li></ul><ul><li>Illegal Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Work Requirements </li></ul>
    41. 42. Effective Ways to Minimize Risk <ul><li>Effective Screening </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Clear Policies </li></ul><ul><li>Signed Agreements </li></ul><ul><li>Clear emergency procedures and 24/7/365 on call </li></ul><ul><li>Liability Insurance </li></ul><ul><li>Back-up living arrangements </li></ul><ul><li>Quick confrontation of problems </li></ul><ul><li>Mandatory counseling/AA, if necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Daily contact with high-risk youth </li></ul>
    42. 43. Working with Youth with Special Needs in IL/TL Programs <ul><li>Youth with mental health issues </li></ul><ul><li>Youth with MRDD issues </li></ul><ul><li>Teen moms </li></ul><ul><li>Sex-offenders </li></ul><ul><li>Youth with criminal records </li></ul><ul><li>Youth from different cultural backgrounds </li></ul><ul><li>GLBTQ youth </li></ul><ul><li>Chemically dependent youth </li></ul><ul><li>Youth with chronic medical problems </li></ul><ul><li>Youth involved in gangs </li></ul><ul><li>Youth with developmental/physical disabilities </li></ul>
    43. 44. Lessons learned <ul><li>* The transition process for youth aging out of foster care rarely </li></ul><ul><li>goes as planned. </li></ul><ul><li>* Many youth will not show much maturity when they are 18 or </li></ul><ul><li>21 but often do several years down the line (amazingly similar </li></ul><ul><li>to their “live-at-home” cohorts!). </li></ul><ul><li>* Even youth who leave as planned “discharges” will probably </li></ul><ul><li>need help in the future, just as youth from “normal” families </li></ul><ul><li>do. </li></ul><ul><li>*Aftercare services can make a difference in stabilizing a youth’s </li></ul><ul><li>housing, often for years after they leave our services. Even a </li></ul><ul><li>small amount of financial support in an emergency can be the </li></ul><ul><li>Difference between keeping a losing a place to stay. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    44. 45. Lessons learned-cont’d <ul><li>* The age 18 is no longer the normal age at which youth are able </li></ul><ul><li>move out from “normal” families of origin. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>* No one living arrangement works for all youth. Youth need to </li></ul><ul><li>have multiple options. </li></ul><ul><li>* No one knows how a particular youth will do when first on </li></ul><ul><li>his/her own. Giving a youth a second/third chance in a </li></ul><ul><li>different location can often work out. </li></ul><ul><li>*Public housing people often do not want youth/young adults in </li></ul><ul><li>their housing. </li></ul>
    45. 46. Useful Publications <ul><li>“ Housing Options for Independent Living Programs” </li></ul><ul><li>Available at or 202-662-4278 or www.CWLA.org </li></ul><ul><li>“ Moving In: Ten Successful IL/TL Program Models” </li></ul><ul><li>Available at Northwest Media 800-777-6636 or www.northwestmedia.com </li></ul><ul><li>“ Transition to Adulthood: A Resource for Assisting Young People with Emotional or Behavioral Difficulties” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brookes Publishing Co. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Uncertain Futures: Foster Youth in Transaction to Adulthood” www.CWLA.org </li></ul><ul><li>CWLA “Standards of Excellence” – CWLA Standards of excellence for transition, independent living and self-sufficiency services. www.CWLA.org </li></ul>
    46. 47. For training/consulting info: <ul><li>Mark J Kroner LISW </li></ul><ul><li>Director, Lighthouse Training Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Lighthouse Youth Services Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Cincinnati, Ohio 45206 </li></ul><ul><li>513-487-7130 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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