Respite care is an essential part of the overall support that families may need to keep their family member safe if they leave home. The word “respite” means to take a break from the daily challenges of couch surfing or homelessness. It can be planned for a few days or for as long as it takes to find a suitable Host Family.
Taylor was an unattended youth who found shelter and love from a mom and dad who weren’t her own.
SafeKids created Taylor’s House in her honor so other homeless youth can find a place to stay in an emergency, thanks to the generosity of John and Mirian Jasper of Union. It’s a refuge for a lot of young people who have sought the kind of stability most of us take for granted.
When a young person is in crisis, educators, police officers, and SafeSpot workers know to call SafeKids. One of our trained staff members will arrive quickly and take the child to Taylor’s House, our 24-7 emergency shelter.
Overseen by a professional counselor, Taylor’s House provides a cheerful and reassuring atmosphere where young people can sleep in a comfortable bed, get their homework done, and have nourishing meals.
But there are strict rules for those who stay in Taylor’s House. They must be drug-free, in school, and on their way to getting a good job. If they abide by these rules, they get an opportunity to move on to one of our most innovative programs: Host Families.
Yes, there are groups of people who experience homelessness in different ways, but all homelessness is characterized by extreme poverty coupled with a lack of stable housing. Children on their own or with their families, single adults, seniors, and veterans compose various demographic groups that may use different types of programs or services or have differing factors that contribute to their homelessness. There are also those who experience homelessness for various lengths of time (short-term, long-term, or “chronic”) or who experience multiple episodes of homelessness (moving between housing and homelessness). Those who are “doubled up” or “couch surfing” are also considered homeless if their housing arrangement is for economic reasons and is unstable (a disagreement or other scenario could result in being asked to leave). Accessible and affordable housing is the key underlying need for all these situations regardless of other demographic factors.
Homeless youth are young people who are often living on their own, without a permanent or stable place to call home. When some people think of homeless youth, they think of young people who live in shelters or on the streets. However, there are many other scenarios in which a youth might experience homelessness, such as staying in weekly or daily motels, living “doubled up” with another family, living out of their car, or residing with friends and sleeping on the couch. While there is no official count of the exact number of homeless youth, it is estimated that as many as 2.5 million children in the United States are homeless each year.
Youth become homeless for many reasons, but the most common causes are:
- Experiencing financial hardship
- Being kicked out of their homes
- Running away
- Sexual orientation
- Aging out of foster care
- Being abandoned or neglected
- Substance abuse
- Experiencing the death of a family member or guardian
Many homeless youth become homeless suddenly. Homeless youth are different from homeless adults because they often have not learned the essential life skills needed to live on their own, like how to drive or ride a bus, get a job, or pay bills.
Homeless youth are at an increased risk of harm in comparison to other youth their age. They are more likely to experience mental illness, suffer poor health, drop out of school, and become involved with or become victims of criminal activity. Life on the streets is dangerous and unpredictable, leaving homeless youth vulnerable to being exploited, abused, or killed.
A Real Family Environment
When we can’t reunite kids with their biological families, an inspiring group of men and women have said they’re willing to step up.
Host Families take in good and motivated teens who aren’t safe at home. Our trained staff match Host Families to unattended youth who will fit well in their family culture.
SafeKids continues to provide:
- Money for food and clothing.
- Emergency transportation
- Job opportunities.
- Counseling for everyone involved
Host Families become mentors and often find themselves transformed by the experience.
You Can Help Franklin County Kids in Crisis
When Franklin County youth have nowhere else to turn, they turn to SafeKids.
But SafeKids needs your help to keep doing this community-shaping work. Are you willing? You can:
- Make your business a SafeSpot.
- Become a host family.
If you want to know more, please give SafeKids a call at (636) 364-8112. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject, “Tell me about SafeKids.”
Homelessness in our community is a real problem. SafeKids is a real solution. Call or email us today.