At Home 2021

JOIN US ONSept. 24 - Oct. 3

YSS is led by a community based approach and each center offers three major programs that benefit homeless and at-youth. These programs of the Iowa Aftercare Network, Mental Health Counseling and Transitional Living programs all fall under the category of ‘transition services’.

ABOUT OUR YOUTH

We work with youth ages 16-24. We work with youth of all ethnic and societal backgrounds who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless. We call all youth living in or using our programs “participants” because all of our programs  are voluntary, which means no clients come to us from the Department of Human Services (DHS) placements. We do not receive government funding for taking in clients.

YSS TRANSITION SERVICES CORE GOALS

We help homeless youth successfully transition into adulthood through 5 key focus areas: Education, Employment, Life Skills, Safe Housing, Positive Community Engagement.

AFTERCARE

As part of a statewide network, YSS Aftercare Services Networks help address the needs of young adults who, after reaching the age of 18 while in foster care, are on their own. Assistance and support in developing and achieving individual goals and links to other community resources are available for young people between the ages of 18-23 (up to 23 for past participants) who are facing the challenges of becoming self-sufficient adults.

Aftercare can help youth who are: a former foster care recipient who may have received services in a family foster home, group home or through a DHS supported independent living arrangement; 18 years old, but not yet 23 years old and left foster care at age 17 1/2 or older and is currently living in Iowa.

MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING

Our experts provide clinical assessment and diagnosis to help focus and direct treatment toward positive mental health and behavioral outcomes.

TRANSITION LIVING PROGRAMS

we help youth secure safe housing in either a Transitional Living apartment or a Rapid Rehousing apartment in our community. Our housing programs provide homeless youth access to safe housing for 12 months.

THE OUTCOMES

In 2019, YSS programs helped 12,981 families | provided 21,336 Outpatient and behavioural heath appointments| provided 20,075 nights of housing to homeless youth | provided 4,450 sessions of support to aftercare participants


YSS of AMES, BOONE COUNTY and HAMILTON COUNTY

YSS provides homeless youth (between the ages of 16–24) a safe living environment and individualized wrap-around supportive services to help them get back on their feet. Our agency works with youth through five key areas of focus: employment, education, living skills, positive community engagement and safe housing.


FRANCIS LAUER

For over 50 years, Francis Lauer has provided excellence in serving and healing youth and their families. Francis Lauer is a community-based organization of YSS, a non-profit dedicated to helping children and youth embrace their full potential through comprehensive prevention, treatment and transition programs. Francis Lauer provides homeless youth (between the ages of 16–24) a safe living environment and individualized wrap-around supportive services to help them get back on their feet. Our agency works with youth through five key areas of focus: employment, education, living skills, positive community engagement and safe housing.


IOWA HOMELESS YOUTH CENTERS

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC) works to eliminate homelessness among children, youth, and young families in Central Iowa. We believe, with support and assistance, homeless youth can attain self-sufficiency and break the cycle of poverty.

Through case management and advocacy, our dedicated staff works with youth (16.5-24) and young families to become self-sufficient, and plan for a healthy and successful future.

YOUTH OPPORTUNITY CENTER

The Youth Opportunity Center is located at 612 Locust Street in Downtown Des Moines. The YOC includes: drop-in center; commercial kitchen with a daily meal program; laundry and shower facilities; art studio; computer lab; therapy and counseling rooms; 9 emergency bed units for transition-age youth.

STREET OUTREACH

A hub of crisis counseling, service referrals and emergency needs fulfillment. Our youth advocates are committed to meeting youth where they are in life, and assisting them in taking the first steps to self-sufficiency and a successful future.

DROP-IN CENTER

Serves as a safe place for youth, and is open daily for showers, laundry, donation center access, service referrals and interaction with staff and volunteers. In the center, youth may access a computer lab and art studio, which holds regular classes taught by volunteers for our youth participants.

DAILY MEAL PROGRAM

Free nutritious meals are available daily to all homeless or at-risk youth ages 16-22. Lunch is served at 12 p.m. and dinner is served at 5 p.m.

EMERGENCY BED PROGRAM

The YOC has 9 low-barrier single bed units available for youth ages 18-24. Youth may stay for up to 30 days while working with youth advocates to meet their immediate needs and to plan their next step towards self-sufficiency.

LIGHTHOUSE TRANSITIONAL LIVING PROGRAM

The Lighthouse Transitional Living Program provides services to 10 homeless pregnant and/or parenting young mothers, ages 16-24, and their children. Youth can live in the facility for up to 24 months as they work on education, employment, life skills, positive community engagement, pre and post-natal care and safe housing. The Lighthouse can also house one homeless family in its emergency shelter bed.

RAPID REHOUSING

Twelve youth ages 18-22 can move into their own stable housing quicker with IHYC’s Rapid Rehousing Program. Youth are able to live in their own apartment while still receiving support on a sliding scale. While in the program, youth work to obtain stable employment at a livable wage and achieve overall self-sufficiency.

 

IMMEDIATE CHALLENGES FACING HOMELESS YOUTH

+ You have no place safe to sleep at night
+ You don’t know when/from where your next meal comes
+ You’re hungry and have no energy
+ You’re dirty and have no clean clothes
+ You’re sick and have no doctor
+ You’re pregnant or parenting with no support/child care

LONG-TERM CHALLENGES FACING HOMELESS YOUTH

+ Mental, Physical and Sexual Abuse
+ Long Term Foster Care or Juvenile Justice
+ Mental Illness
+ Behavioral Issues
+ Developmental Delay
+ School Failure
+ Substance Abuse
+ Unemployment
+ Health Problems
+ Victimization
+ Legal Issues
+ Few Sources of Positive Support and Guidance
+ Young Parent or Pregnancy
+ Social Stigma