1.11 Transitional Housing: Assessing and Targeting for Effective Transitions (Reuthers)


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Transitional housing is a large component of many local homeless service systems. This workshop will examine how community planners and programs can enhance the impact of transitional housing by strategically targeting it to survivors of domestic violence, youth-in-transition, and people experiencing alcohol or substance abuse disorders.

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1.11 Transitional Housing: Assessing and Targeting for Effective Transitions (Reuthers)

  1. 1. Transitional Housing for Youth: A continuum of care <br />July 12, 2010<br />Susan Ruether<br />Program Coordinator<br />Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs<br />Latin American Youth Center <br />
  2. 2. <ul><li>Runaway and homeless youth; ages 12 - 24
  3. 3. Over 2 million youth in US experience one night of homelessness per year; 100,000 sleeping long-term on the streets (NAEH)
  4. 4. LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the runaway homeless population; about 1 in 5 (NAEH).
  5. 5. Studies show that youth take longer to reach economic and social maturity than in past decades; due to changes in social structure, employment and education
  6. 6. Attaining adult roles is more difficult than it was 3-4 decades ago </li></ul>National trends in youth homelessness<br />
  7. 7. Trends among homeless youth at the Latin American Youth Center<br /><ul><li>Ages 16 -24
  8. 8. Largest population on our waiting list are ages 18-24 single and teen mothers; significant % are LGBTQ, as much as 50%.
  9. 9. LAYC operates 5 residential programs; served 32 RHY youth in FY09
  10. 10. Elevated poverty rate in DC ; 16.9% below poverty level in 2008 (US census).
  11. 11. 32% are recent immigrants; 44% Spanish primary language
  12. 12. Common reasons for homelessness
  13. 13. Family conflict; neglect and abandonment; death of primary caretaker
  14. 14. Immigration; tenuous networks in US
  15. 15. LGBTQ identity
  16. 16. Pregnancy
  17. 17. Mental health and substance abuse </li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Safe, stable living
  18. 18. “Meet youth where they are” ; language, literacy, family reunification etc.; referrals to services.
  19. 19. Build skills before moving to a permanent option (or back home): guided path to self-sufficiency
  20. 20. Life skills
  21. 21. Counseling
  22. 22. Substance abuse/use counseling
  23. 23. Parenting classes
  24. 24. Employment and education counseling
  25. 25. Financial training </li></ul>Why Transitional Housing?<br />
  26. 26. <ul><li>As part of a continuum of care, allows for youth to build their way to more independence as the youth build skills and abilities
  27. 27. Ability to “fail” safely and learn from failure
  28. 28. We now know that brain development in young people is continual and that they undergo important changes:
  29. 29. The greatest changes to parts of the brain that are responsible self-control, judgment, emotions, and organization occurs between puberty and adulthood.
  30. 30. Young people’s brains continue maturing through teens and 20s. </li></ul>Why Transitional housing?<br />
  31. 31. <ul><li>LAYC moving toward an apartment based TH model
  32. 32. Studios and shared units (shared are more real-world for DC)
  33. 33. Practice paying rent, interacting with building management, roommates and neighbors while still in the program
  34. 34. Pros and cons of housing in a public apartment building
  35. 35. Best for LGBTQ identified youth
  36. 36. Limit total time in program
  37. 37. Can move from one program to another with successful transition, within the continuum
  38. 38. Limit 12 months maximum (no longer have clients for 18 months); as few as 6 months</li></ul>Programmatic considerations <br />
  39. 39. Positive youth development model<br />Meaningful roles for youth in some areas of programmatic decisions<br />Teach decision making skills first, guidance<br />Give small projects (budget for activities, teach others life-skills)<br />Resident council meetings <br />Peer educator/outreach programs<br />Make sure you can follow through on authority you give youth to make decisions<br />Programmatic considerations <br />
  40. 40. Youth experience <br />“After losing my family  to the police violence in my native ANGOLA, I escaped to the US trying to go to Canada seeking for political asylum but things didn't work and I was without money and I don't have family in [the] US; I began [a] search for a legal assistance program, while sleeping in bus stations and metro stations. I met this guy who introduced me to his friend, he was from LAYC . . . with the help of an LAYC hous[ing] program and the legal assistance program, I [am] finally found. I am getting my life on track in the US, the program gave me services including: case management, crisis intervention, counseling services, life skills training, financial, education and employment counseling... I got a New Futures scholarship to pursue a degree in political science.        <br />LAYC, believed in me, they helped me knowing that I don't have nothing to give back, to me the LAYC, Extended housing program gave me more then hope, it gave me my life back.” --age 24<br />
  41. 41. LAYC basic center resources: Youth friendly<br />intensive case mangers with up to 3 year commitment (promotores), Charter school, Treatment/counseling, substance use/abuse counseling, prevention, pregnancy and parenting, art and media house.<br />MOUs especially with health clinics; <br />Programmatic considerations <br />
  42. 42. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS); Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) <br />Recognizes the need for RHY transitional housing, funding for the last 15 years; ages 16 -21; up to 18 months; grants for up-to 5 years <br />Must provide a 10% non-federal match (in reality need aprox another $200,000 to meet CFSA licensing standards of staffing 24/7/365).<br /><ul><li> DC Department of Human Services </li></ul>Funding<br />
  43. 43. <ul><li>William’s story
  44. 44. William, raised by a grandmother who cared for him and 5 siblings, dropped out of school in 6th grade. In his words “ I started selling drugs. I used to be out all day and night. Everybody said school would pay off in the long run, but I wanted to get paid in the moment. My grandmother took care of us. My mom was a drug addict. My dad [has] been dead since I was 2. I got the death certificate. He was murdered.”
  45. 45. Came to LAYC’s Youth build GED program in NW DC.
  46. 46. Even though as a homeless youth traveling from the SE men’s shelter to his school each day required a 5 am wake-up, for William it was his new discipline, “I don’t know what to do if I don’t go to school” he said.
  47. 47. Was referred to Transitional housing and has saved $1900 in 5 months, attained his GED with perfect attendance, will begin renting his own apartment next month.
  48. 48. William was featured in a Washington Post article last January -- invited to meet the President in February. </li></ul>Youth experience <br />