In Youth Service, Inc. Success Stories, we aim to recognize clients who have overcome their hardships to find success through our programming. This month, we are highlighting four stories from our Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) program. RHY is a voluntary service for youth ages 12 to 17 who have run away from home or who are uncomfortable with their current living situation and need support. The program provides them with short-term emergency shelter and helps them work with their family to resolve conflicts through mediation, support for family reunification, and advocacy for youth. The program also offers resources for healthy relationships, education, and physical health.
A. M. came to YES through the RHY program when she was 4 months pregnant. Through conversations it was determined that she did not have safe family resources to return home. We discussed options and she agreed to be referred to DHS as a mechanism for ensuring a safe living situation for her and her baby. Once accepted into DHS, A. M. remained at YES, finishing her final year of high school. YES assisted with her prom including a farewell party. A. M. received prenatal support from Jefferson’s Department of Community and Family Medicine who hosts a weekly medical clinic at YES. After discharge from YES, A. M. came back to visit and to show us her healthy newborn. She shared that she will be entering Supervised Independent Living and will begin college courses in the fall.
P. was referred to YES from YSI’s Family Empowerment Service. Her family was experiencing housing instability and her mother had no place for A. P. to live as she was unable to join the rest of the family at the shelter. The initial plan was for A. P. to remain at YES for one week until the shelter had space for her. Space at the shelter was not available and A. P. remained at YES for the RHY 21 day stay. At the end of the 21 day period, A. P. was reunited with her family. She and her mother were so grateful that A. P. did not have to enter the child welfare system. We in the RHY program were glad that we could assist in keeping this family together.
*Names were changed to protect the identities of our clients.