Every night in America, there are thousands of youth experiencing homelessness – living in cars, vacant buildings, couch hopping with friends and families, or staying in places not meant for human habitation. Youth experiencing homelessness are not typically seen on the streets or in shelters, often being referred to as invisible and being undercounted by government and human service agencies. Despite their houselessness, they are often doing their best to go to work or school each day.
Currently, there are over 200 unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness in Frederick County. Throughout the state, there are a shortage of youth-centric housing programs which centralize the unique needs of youth and young adults to exit homelessness and find stable, secure housing. Without safe and permanent housing and caring connections with adults, unaccompanied youth are at an even greater risk of engaging in high-risk behaviors or finding themselves in unsafe situations.
What are host homes?
Short-term host homes are an intervention for youth who are currently experiencing homelessness for any variety of reasons, including but not limited to family conflict, racial oppression, poverty, gender identity and sexual orientation. The goal of short-term host homes is to provide a safe, temporary, welcoming space for up to six months where the young person can move towards self-sufficiency. Host homes are currently being used in numerous cities across the United States.
THRIVE! leverages existing resources to support youth, and the community of caring adults to help solve the crisis of youth homelessness in Frederick County. It is a community-driven model that connects young people aged 16-22 with adults from their own communities who are able to provide safe housing and support while the young person figures out their next steps. THRIVE! staff work with the young person and hosts to make sure the process is supportive and stress-free.
THRIVE! recognizes the importance of youth having a safe, stable place to live in order to work on other elements of their life as they work towards self-sufficiency.
Are you able to host a young person?
THRIVE!’s process is pretty straightforward! Our team works with host families to make sure they are prepared to welcome a young person into their homes, and support them as they are housed. Throughout the match, THRIVE! also works with the youth guest to ensure they are comfortable and have what they need to thrive!
Check out our process below!
Apply to Host!
Being a host is a powerful and unique experience, and far from being easy. The commitment you are willing to make in order to be a host volunteer is an intense one, as is that of a youth who is moving into a host home. In turn, it will hopefully prove to be a gratifying and empowering experience for all involved.
The information provided will be held in the strictest of confidence, and will only be used by SHIP of Frederick County to determine your eligibility to become a volunteer host home with the network. The personal information collected will be stored for 30 days and is used solely for the purpose for which it was requested.
If you are interested and would like to learn more before applying or the host experience, please email Maureen Walker (she/her) at email@example.com.
Apply here: https://shipfrederick.com/apply-to-host/
Are you a young person in need of housing?
Please contact us at 240-626-0602 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more, you can visit our FAQ’s here: https://shipfrederick.com/youth-application/
Are you referring a youth?
THRIVE! is a host home program and, unfortunately, is not a great fit for all youth in need of housing. Since THRIVE! is a temporary housing solution, youth guests will need to be active participants throughout their stay at the host home and willing to work with a case worker towards achieving self-identified goals and work towards self-sufficiency. It can be very challenging for youth to move into a strangers’ home. Although we will do our best to make them feel at ease in the home, some youth may not be able to adapt to a host home environment. Please discuss these potential challenges with the young person and reach out the THRIVE! staff before referring a youth.
For more information, please contact Maureen Walker (she/her) at 240-626-0602 or email@example.com. https://shipfrederick.com/referring-a-youth/