Alternative House Programs
Emergency Shelter for Teenagers - The Alternative House Emergency Shelter for Teenagers provides a safe haven for runaway, homeless and abused young people 13 to 17 years old. Teens receive intensive individual counseling and family therapy is provided whenever possible. Most young people return to their families after their stay at the Shelter and a safe alternative is found for those who cannot return home.
24-Hour Crisis Hotline - Often the first point of contact for a young person in crisis is the Alternative House Hotline, 1‑800‑SAY‑TEEN (1‑800‑729‑8336). The hotline is answered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by trained counselors and volunteers. In addition to serving young people in crisis, it is also a resource to parents who need advice or referrals.
Assisting Young Mothers (AYM) - The Assisting Young Mothers program helps homeless young women 16 to 24 years old who are pregnant or who have small children find stability and a place to turn their life around. Young mothers receive safe shelter, food, parenting education and help with education and employment. When they graduate, our young mothers can support themselves and their children in our community.
Homeless Youth Initiative (HYI) - Homeless high school students who are on their own get support through the Homeless Youth Initiative. Help with rent, budgeting and studies are provided to 18 to 20 year old youth who are on their own while trying to graduate from high school.
Community-Based Services - With a focus on youth and family support, our Community-Based Services offer classes, resources and information to parents and children. Food, clothing, homework help, field trips and help with college applications and are just a few of the things people receive at our programs.
Our drop-in Teen Center in Culmore provides meals, community service projects, help with homework, recreational activities and workshops.
Safe Youth Projects in Culmore, Springfield and Annandale provide support to children in the 4th through 6th grades after school and in the summertime.
Alternative House also operates two Fairfax County Family Resource Centers designed to serve as the liaison between families in low-income neighborhoods and community resources. The Family Resource Centers are neighborhood-based drop-in centers offering a safe, relaxed setting for family-oriented, on-site programs, resources, activities and classes to strengthen families in their communities. We provide information and referrals to parents and children such as computer learning classes, language classes, legal services, assistance with forms (e.g. benefits, unemployment, financial aid for college), and joint parent-and-child programs.
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.