PSSF (Promoting Safe and Stable Families) Host Homes Program

Network of Services and Supports for Families

Columbia County Homes for Youth intends to provide shelter to unaccompanied, homeless youth (ages 17-21) to help them graduate high school or get a GED and transition successfully into college, military or full-time employment. Funding to support this program is being provided by a Promoting Safe and Stable Families grant.

Our goal is to create a network of host homes to provide guidance, food, shelter, clothing and emotional support to teens not living with parents or guardians. For older youth, we provide access to transitional housing while helping them make a plan for self-sufficiency.

Referrals come from school social workers, guidance counselors, GED instructors, juvenile and adult courts, law enforcement, and other concerned citizens.

The program conducts a needs assessment to determine the appropriate services for each youth, which include counseling, life skills training, guidance, financial support, employment opportunities, and help creating a career and life plan.

Services the program can provide: financial help with transportation, help with expenses, counseling for youth and family, skill-building classes for youth and/or family, referrals for help with job placement, college or technical school applications, and a support system for both youth and family.

We expect youth to complete high school/GED, attain employment or transition into the military or college/technical school with a specific action plan for how the youth will achieve this goal.

The Host Homes Program is looking for adults living in Columbia County (or in nearby areas) to serve as a temporary placement for unaccompanied, homeless youth. Host homes would be expected to:

}  Provide a room in their home with a bed and a place for their clothes and access to a bathroom

}  Undergo background check

}  Provide meals and necessary items for youth

}  Be a positive role model for youth

}  Allow visitation from the Host Homes representatives

}  Provide transportation as needed

}  Make youth feel welcome

}  Participate in training prior to and throughout the placement

There are different levels of commitment. Our goal is to have at least 2 emergency homes, 2 short-term homes and 6 long-term homes

}  Overnight/emergency host home 1 to 6 nights

}  Short-term host home from 1 to 6 weeks

}  Long-term host home at least 6 weeks and up to 1 year

This is a partnership between Columbia County Community Connections and the Columbia County Homeless Coalition. Julie Miller and Jan Scarbary are the primary contacts for this program.

Julie Miller 706-650-5010 jkmiller@connectcolumbia.org

Jan Scarbary 706-726-8675 janice.scarbary@ccboe.net