While 91 Place was being developed, a sample of homeless youth transitioning to adulthood were asked, “if you could have one thing right now that would change everything, what would it be?” Without fail, almost every time, they would say, “a family.” 91 Place was launched to address this need. We are a home for homeless youth, with community, relationships, and a familial environment at its core, and we aim to be a safe place for homeless youth to live, grow, and thrive. Residents are adolescents transitioning to adulthood, ages 17-22, and are able to stay for up to two years. This gives them time-bound space to further their education, obtain a job, save money, and create healthy relationships. Through our life skills curriculum and mentorship program, our residents learn the skills they need to be independent adults. With therapy and trauma-responsive care, they heal from years of trauma. “People don’t become homeless when they run out of money, at least not right away. They become homeless when they run out of relationships. And this means that the solution to homelessness necessarily involves a reestablishment of relationships and community.” –New City Initiative in Portland, OR via Baylor University Faith Based Impact on US Cities & Homelessness”
A New approach
We believe the best way for youth to learn is doing it in the real world alongside healthy adults.
For example, youth will help with grocery shopping, budgeting, time management, encouraging one another, problem solving within the house and conflict resolution. They will learn how to love one another by watching the adults and peers in their lives love one another well. Between the life skills curriculum, mentorship program, self-esteem boosting, accomplishing practical goals, discovering passions, and healthy relationships, youth will exit our program completely transformed and will be able to live independent lives. We are excited to implement these proven methods here in our transitional housing program.
91 Place Model
91 Place is a two-year program.
91 Place is an individualized program; each of our youth has different needs and goals based on where they are in life. For example, if we have a 17-year-old come into the home, their focus will be on finishing or re-enrolling in high school and concentrating on their grades and attendance. But if we have a 21-year-old come into our program, his or her focus would be on going to a trade school or obtaining a full-time job to save for the future. Within each individual program, the youth have goals to focus on and progress towards. The house mentors keep track daily of where they are at, make sure they have gone to school or work, and alert the CEO if there are any consistent issues with youth. House mentors also demonstrate what healthy conversation and dialogue look like. Frequently, the youth we serve have never seen a healthy disagreement that did not end up in a physical altercation or screaming match. This is one real-world example of how our house mentors impact our youth daily- when a youth gets into a disagreement with a house mentor, they have the opportunity to show them a different way of communication and how to resolve a disagreement without the unhealthy behaviors.
The first year will be in our transitional house with house