Bethlehem Press

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Valley Youth House gets $180K grant

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 by The Press in Local News

Valley Youth House has received a grant of $180,000 over a two year period from the Weinberg Foundation for supportive housing for homeless older adolescent youth in Lackawanna County. The objective of this program is to ensure that youth have the skills and resources to sustain stable housing and engage as contributing members of their community following conclusion of services.

Success will be measured according to participants’ level of preparedness in five core arenas: housing, education, employment, permanency, and income. Direct services will include:

*Rental assistance for youth to live in scattered-site, market-rate housing in locations of their choosing anywhere in Lackawanna County

* One-on-one life skills training

* One-on-one support for educational advancement and linkages with remedial help as needed

* Employability skills instruction, assistance with the job search process, and one-on-one support for employment retention and advancement

* Assistance in identifying and developing relationships with supportive adult role models to serve as a resource following discharge

* One-on-one financial instruction and guidance

As a result of their involvement with Valley Youth House, formerly homeless youth will be able to sustain stable housing without subsidy, and will increase their income in order to support themselves. Rental assistance and case management will be provided for up to 6 homeless youth ages 18-24 at a point in time. Many will be parenting and accompanied by their children. The targeted age group, while of “legal age,” is often ill-prepared for independence – not only due to their age, but also given past histories of trauma and abuse and lack of family resources that led to homelessness. Life skills training and case management includes “surrogate parenting “ - providing consistency, role modeling of appropriate adult behaviors, and providing support while youth develop the skills and resources to live independently.

Youth homelessness is a hidden problem. Youth without stable housing will often deliberately hide from authorities in an attempt to avoid being returned to an abusive or violent family and a fear of entering shelter. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless (2007), the most common causes for youth homelessness are histories of parental abuse and neglect and aging out of the foster care system.

“As a result of this grant, Valley Youth House is able to expand services into an area with great need and no other youth-specific housing. Assistance to this vulnerable population of young adults will ensure preparation for a positive future” stated Kathi Krablin, Valley Youth House’s Director of Grants and Foundations.

Contributed article