There are many reasons why children live outside the safety and protection of a home. They may get forced to leave or have to run away for safety. Many children find themselves without a home due to emotional and behavioral disturbances, domestic violence, mental health challenges, sexual orientation, unplanned pregnancies, or substance abuse. Support and resources are vital at this crucial moment in a child’s life. Transitional Living intends to equip people with the tools, structure, and support they need to re-enter permanent housing and be successful in their futures.
Helping You Learn the Progression of Transitional Living in the United States
In 1975, the U.S government funded the emergency shelter program to help runaway and homeless youth. However, many homeless children under 18 couldn’t return home, so the promotion of family reunification was not successful. To address these needs, The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) funded the first transitional living programs in 1990, supplying the need for long-term, supportive assistance that emergency shelters were not providing.
Transitional Living for youth typically provides housing services for a limited time. Once a child reaches the age of 18, they become eligible for extended stays and additional support. Services offered through Transitional Living programs help young people who are homeless transition to self-sufficient living. Some examples of the services provided include:
- Educational services
- Child welfare
- Legal services
- Health care programs
- Supervised participation in independent living
- Money management, budgeting, consumer education, and use of credit
- Interpersonal skill-building
- Basic life skills resources
- Educational opportunities, such as GED preparation, post-secondary training, and vocational education
- Job attainment skills
- Mental and physical health care
- Crisis intervention
- Follow-up support
The latest information from Spokane City shows that 934 people live without housing. Of this number, 200 youth and kids under 25 live without a home. What’s more concerning is that these numbers only include the known cases of homelessness. So what can be done to help these kids?
Reducing Homelessness By Providing a Safe Place To Call Home
In 2021, Believe in Me funded a grant for Transitions’ EduCare Program, serving 22 preschool-aged children and 17 families who had previously experienced living without a home. Their services provide consistent care, education, and support. The School Age Program served an additional ten children from the beginning of the 2021 school year. Since then, Transitions has maintained its current mission, leadership, and programming to continue working to end poverty and homelessness for women and children in Spokane.
In addition, in the last two years, 2022 and 2021, Believe in Me has organized two Fundraising Events benefiting Alexandria’s House, Aston-Bleck Apartments, EduCare, and Transitional Living Center (TLC). Alexandria’s House supports homeless and low-income mothers and their children by providing a safe, supportive, nurturing home for expectant and new teen mothers. Aston-Bleck Apartments offer transitional housing for homeless women between 18 and 24 and their children by providing young, safe, affordable housing as they work toward self-sufficiency and greater independence. TLC offers an opportunity for women and children to live together in a stable and supportive environment with parenting education classes and support groups.
Celebrating the Transitional Living Success Stories That Move Us
We want to introduce you to Aniyah, an 18-year-old teen mom who has transitioned from living without a home to giving her newborn a chance to grow up in a safe and nurturing home. When Aniyah found out she was pregnant, she lived with friends because her mother lived in jail and her father was homeless. She had no one to support her. She had no idea how to give her newborn the things she’d need. She would eventually have to learn how to care for Jasmine (the newborn) to grow healthy and strong but had no idea where to start.
Aniyah ended up at Alexandria’s House, thanks to a friend’s mother. While there, she gained access to parenting classes, learned how to form healthy relationships, developed independent living skills like cooking and organizing the budget, and benefited from free childcare while studying or working. She eventually graduated from Alexandria’s house and is working towards being fully independent.
Similar to Aniyah’s story, hundreds of kids, teens, and pregnant teenage women in Spokane don’t have a safe place to stay and go through life without any support. To hear more stories from young women like Aniyah, you can watch our 2020 premier video from the fundraising event “A Place to Call Home.” Click here. We also invite you to learn more about homeless youth in Spokane by reading our blog “Homeless Youth – Helping Pregnant Girls Overcome Adversity“.
Helping Marginalized Kids Gain The Self-confidence They Need To Succeed
Transitional Living is just one of Believe in Me’s five pillars of caring. We also support programs serving marginalized you with education, enrichment, wraparound services, and foster care and adoption programs. Believe in Me has an extraordinary vision to help kids develop the self-confidence they need to succeed. Our mission is to help them find a safe place to call home, a safe environment to create, and opportunities to be healthy and have a successful life. With your support in donations and participating in our fundraising events, you help us make a difference in a kid’s life. Please get involved today and show a kid you believe in them!