Host Home Program
The Host Home Program is an innovative, grassroots approach to addressing our community’s homelessness crisis. By pairing Transitional-Aged Youth (18-25) with community members who have underutilized spaces in their homes, youth not only obtain access to short-term shelter but are also able to build meaningful connections to caring adults in their community. While staying in a Host Home, youth guests are able to engage in the long-term housing search safely and more successfully, and save any income earned while being hosted towards their future.
Host Home Programs have been used successfully in the UK for the last thirty years to provide short-term shelter to youth experiencing homelessness. In the last decade, similar programs have been launched across the United States, with communities tailoring their program’s requirements and components to their specific demographic needs. SPY’s Host Home Program will focus on matching guests for stays of 3-6 months, and will include guests pursuing housing, academic and employment goals.
70% of SPY members are sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation when they first come to Safe Place for Youth. The lack of available, accessible shelter resources significantly hinders the housing and employment search for many, and can put young people at undue risk by prolonging their length of time on the streets.
How to Become a Host:
Hosts must go through the standard volunteer onboarding process, including orientation and a background screening, and must be willing to participate in an additional 1 day training. Hosts will be equipped with knowledge of positive youth development, trauma and resiliency, appropriate boundary setting and effective communication techniques. Hosts and guests will have ongoing support from the Host Homes Coordinator and will meet each other to discuss expectations and hopes for the program, before any host agreements are signed. Safe Place for Youth will also be recruiting respite hosts who would be willing to have a young person in their home for one to two weeks at a time.
If you’re interested in learning more or signing up to become a short-term host, please email Host Homes Coordinator Andrew Gutierrez for further information.