We Are Becoming provides a comprehensive service that would address the psychological, physical, emotional, educational, spiritual and social needs of street youth in our community, regardless of religious affiliation.
Our residential program offers housing in a family-style environment to street youth. During their stay at the home, we provide a wide range of innovative services that are specifically designed to equip youth with skills for achieving personal goals and future success. The services are delivered in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:
Therapy, Counseling & Case Management
Life coaching: Setting and tracking personal goals
Educational Support (tutoring, GED preparation, college application assistance)
Career development and job training
Life skills training workshops
Recreation and extra-curricular activities
Spiritual Formation: Invitations to Sunday worship, small group
Our community outreach program provides information, referrals and advocacy to street youth in the community outside of our residential program. Limited services and training workshops are also available.
Youth homelessness is a particular category of homelessness that is not apparent to the casual observer. It is difficult to get an accurate count of homeless youth due to the array of living arrangements created by young people in their fight to survive.
The US Dept of Housing and Urban Development’s “point in time” count of homeless youth for 2015 reports over 60,000 unaccompanied youth, parenting youth and children of parenting youth. These estimates are considered to be extremely conservative.
The count of youth within homeless households are much higher. Over 1.3 million students enrolled for the 2014-2015 school year were reported to be homeless.
The problem of homeless youth overall is undeniable in its scale and urgency;
the crisis of unaccompanied homeless youth is heightened further due to the many dangers they face.
Many teens on the street are there as a result of fleeing physical and/or sexual abuse in their homes.
Many young people on the street are former foster youth with no stable ties for housing.
Youth on the streets are more likely to engage in “survival sex” - trading sex for food, clothing, drugs, a safe place to sleep for a night. Over 30% of counted homeless youth report having been assaulted by a weapon. They are more likely to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to cope with lasting effects of trauma and abuse. Homeless youth suffer significant mental health problems including depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse.
Street youth are struggling daily to meet the most basic of needs- where to sleep, what to eat - while carrying the burden of past trauma and its present consequences.
Each year, over 5,000 young lives are lost while trying to survive on the streets.
There are many wonderful organizations working to alleviate the problem of homelessness, and some specifically working for youth. One large area that remains to be addressed more substantially is that of long term housing and support services. Stephen Gaetz, director of the COH says profoundly,
“Providing (young) people with three hots (meals) and a cot - however well meaning that is - it really doesn’t address the issues. They need housing, which is not the same as an emergency shelter bed. They need adult support and mentoring. They need a chance to recover if they’ve experienced trauma. They need safety. They need a chance to get back to school. We have to stick with them for a long time, until they’re stable.”
We Are Becoming Home
We Are Becoming’s home provides the stability and safety that allows young people to find the rest and restoration they need, giving them a chance to open themselves up to a pursue a meaningful future, beyond basic survival. Our homes are designed to be small, family-sized, in order to create a sense of belonging and togetherness. Through relationships built with trustworthy staff and mentors, the youth receive support and understanding while being challenged to work through their unique challenges in order to heal, learn and grow.