Youth Focus has a long history of providing services and support to youth, but what happens once they become adults and age out of programs offered to minors? With sparse offerings or programs that have no openings, long waiting lists or both, we decided to revamp a current transitional housing program we offer to encourage independence, with support and service offerings that cater to our clients as they become productive citizens in our community. Youth Focus is proud to roll out two new programs, called HEARTH: TLP and HEARTH: Permanent Supportive Housing.
HEARTH is an acronym standing for Hope Empowerment And Resiliency Through Housing
HEARTH was borne from our existing Transitional Living Program, which has recently approached the end of its five year grant cycle. Rather than offer a central living in a house in High Point where clients all lived together, we now offer a similar program with a clustered apartment model. Four apartments within close proximity, also located in High Point, are the new living spaces for eligible clients that need transitional living services, while offering a little more independence and privacy through a modified approach to transitional housing.
Our clients don’t have to go it alone with this new program; The HEARTH: TLP model offers a supervised support system. A nearby live-in staff member, along with a staffed office, are on hand to provide a degree of supervision and support as clients learn to budget, care for their own homes, acquire jobs or continue their education. In addition, clients will share their apartments with a roommate, splitting responsibilities and learning how to live more independently. In essence, the model mimics living in a college dorm. Clients get their own living space, and have a resident advisor available to them at all times in the same building. The transitional living program not only creates a level of accountability many clients still require as they navigate through young adulthood, but creates a wonderful ‘leg up’ they often need to help them achieve independent success. Once they have met their goals and criteria, clients can then move on from the program. With the help of their case worker, they acquire permanent housing of their choosing based on their specific criteria, or transition to another program depending on their needs. Clients eligible for HEARTH: TLP currently must be between 18-21 years of age.
Likewise, the HEARTH: Permanent Supportive Housing program offers scattered site apartments throughout Guilford County. Clients utilizing this program don’t need as much day-to-day supervision, but still require independent living support and rent assistance. The permanent support model also allows the client to lease an apartment in his/her name in an effort to help them build credit and learn financial responsibility, but with continued case management services targeted at building independent living skills. Upon ‘graduation’ from the program, the client can sustain the lease on the apartment and remain in their home as a permanent residence, taking over the payments and utilities. This is a rare opportunity for many clients! Qualified clients are between 18-25 years of age.
Both of these programs are part of Youth Focus’ Supportive Housing programs. The HEARTH Program Manager is Laquita Jenkins, and the Program Director is Sarah Roethlinger.
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