Homeless Youth Initiative (HYI)
Alternative House's newest program helps homeless high school students - those who don't have the support of a parent or guardian - with housing so that they can obtain their diploma. In 2014, approximately 500 high school students in Fairfax County Public Schools were identified by their teachers and administrators as being homeless and without the support of a parent or guardian. These are students who do not have a safe place to live and are all alone.
In 2014, 81% of the young people at the Homeless Youth Initiative were able to meet their employment goals and 86% met their education goals.
In 2014, all of the graduating Seniors in the Homeless Youth Initiative went on to higher education, employment, or a combination of work and study.
Without that safe place to stay and a stable roof over their heads, many of them find it difficult - if not impossible - to complete high school. They are often forced to move from house to house, making transportation to school difficult, or they quit school altogether in order to work full time in an effort to afford a place to stay.
The Homeless Youth Initiative was launched in August 2009 to meet these young peoples' needs. Using a combination of host homes, rental assistance and a house in Vienna, HYI helped 79 students in 2014.
"Nancy" is one of those who graduated in June.
The Homeless Youth Initiative consists of three parts:
- A single family home where four young women reside;
- Private host homes; and
- Small rent subsidies to help students with renting a room in the community.
All of the youth participating in the Homeless Youth Initiative receive housing and community support, as well as case management services, individual therapy, life skills education, tutoring, and assistance with emergency food and supplies.
Transitional Living Program (TLP)
The Transitional Living Program helps to provide housing for homeless young people through host homes and rent assistance. The young people in this program must work or go to school at least 30 hours a week and create a savings account so that they can live independently once they graduate from the program. All of the young people participating in the Transitional Living Program receive housing and community support, as well as case management services, individual therapy, life skills education, tutoring, and assistance with emergency food and supplies.
In 2014, the Transitional Living Program was able to help 126 young people. 71% were working or going to school when they left the program. 96% left to a safe living situation. In 2014, 81% of the young people in HYI were able to meet their employment goals and 86% met their education goals.
Host homes are similar in concept to what occurs with a foreign exchange student. The Homeless Youth Initiative and Transitional Living Program match homeless high school students with host families who can provide them with a stable living environment while they complete high school. Please click here to read more about our Host Home program.
Homeless students who are currently working and can contribute a portion of their income to their rent are eligible for rent subsidies. These students use the small rental subsidy to better balance their work and school commitments with the ultimate goal of high school graduation.
For more information about HYI or TLP:
- Email HYI@TheAlternativeHouse.org, or
- Call 703.206.9890.
Interested in volunteering? Learn more.
Meet our Executive Director, tour our Emergency Shelter for Teenagers and learn more about youth homelessness at our one-hour Open Door Information Session, held on the second Tuesday of every month.