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Problems our residents face/Solutions we offer

Where do youth go when they leave Open Door Youth Shelter - West Town ’s Interim Housing Program?

Most often youth:

- Move to a longer-term transitional housing program
- Are reunified with family (only if safe)
- Get their own apartment
- Realize they’re not ready for a program and return to the streets.

Once youth leave, they face new problems. Our Continuing Care Coordinator works with them to resolve them constructively. Some problems include:

Problem: The youth’s housing, job, or school arrangement is in jeopardy because they have forgotten to take particular steps.
Solution: Our Continuing Care Coordinator helps teach life skills to our Interim Housing Program residents, so she has a fairly accurate idea of the areas where each youth will need particular assistance after leaving. We tailor assistance to the youth’s particular needs and circumstances.

Problem: Not enough income and/or work hours to remain self-sufficient. Youth have difficulty making ends meet on a minimum wage job. Many entry-level jobs are part-time with no benefits. If a youth is disabled, the difficulties increase.
Solution: In the short term, when possible, we help youth make use of subsidized housing and public benefits so they can stretch their meager incomes. For their long-term future, we work with and encourage youth to increase their marketable skills through education, job training referrals, volunteer experience, or internships. We support youth during this difficult time with advice on how to navigate working two jobs or in going to school while working.

Problem: Youth making the transition to their own apartment may experience feelings of intense loneliness, boredom or depression. Often the youth we serve are used to living in group environments, on the street, or in a very chaotic dysfunctional home. This new calmness of living alone can be stressful. Many of our youth have been traumatized in the process of becoming homeless. Often post-traumatic stress symptoms don’t surface until the youth is outwardly stable and has had time and space to reflect.
Solution: We offer emotional support, our services and referrals to other organizations. We try to connect youth to therapy so they have a place to work through their problems in a healthy way.

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