Preventing Youth Homelessness

Young man with backpack

When we intervene early, before a young person spends one night on the street, we can often keep their family from fracturing and that child from becoming homeless.  In doing so, we can protect them from the danger and trauma of the streets, and keep them connected to family, school, and safe housing. In 2012, we formally launched our Prevention program to help young people at risk of homelessness, and their families. It is comprised of the following programs:

Safe Place – 1 (800) 422-TEEN

Safe Place is a program that quickly connects runaway and homeless youth ages 12-17 in King County to services, either by reuniting them with their family or providing them with emergency shelter. Youth can go to a Safe Place site – recognizable by a yellow diamond logo – or call 1 (800) 422-TEEN, and within 45 minutes a Safe Place Coordinator will arrive to provide assistance. YouthCare operates Safe Place in cooperation with Nexus Youth & Families (Auburn Youth Resources) and Friends of Youth; all three agencies provide case managers and shelter space for the program. It is the only 24/7 in-person response to teens in crisis in King County.  Learn more.

Youth and Family Connection Network (YFCN)

YouthCare’s Youth and Family Connection Network (YFCN) provides case management services to youth/young adults who are experiencing homelessness or are in a crisis that could lead to homelessness, with a goal of engaging the caring adults in the youth’s lives. YFCN’s case managers help youth to engage with the natural supports in their lives and to stabilize in a safe environment, whether that be the family home or another positive living situation. Youth and young adults ages 12-25 living in King County are eligible for services. Learn more

Preventing Homelessness among High-Risk Youth

YouthCare works with young people in school and in juvenile detention to address challenges such as truancy, lack of stable housing, mental health issues, domestic violence, and chemical dependency, all of which are risk factors for homelessness. Learn more.

Young Adult Diversion

The Young Adult Diversion Program is an innovative set of tools to help young adults, ages 18-24, who are seeking assistance to maintain or quickly identify immediate, permanent alternate housing arrangements by providing short-term, flexible financial assistance.  This program is funded by the Raikes Foundation and managed by YouthCare in partnership with Nexus Youth & Families (Auburn Youth Resources), Friends of Youth, New Horizons, and the YMCA. The term “diversion” refers to diverting a youth from entering the homeless housing system such as shelter or transitional/permanent housing. Frontline staff facilitate flexible conversations to assist young people in identifying viable housing alternatives and provide flexible funds that can quickly address the housing crisis. Staff receive training in facilitating these conversations; the program will grow to encompass a range of trainings on core skills and best practices related to working with homeless young people.