Frequently Asked Questions for Youth

Last updated 12/21/20

Youth

  • Fill out a housing questionnaire online or email/call staff to notify us of your interest in the Host Home Program
  • Wait for a Housing Program Case Manager to call you
  • Complete an interview with a case manager to assess your current living circumstances
  • Check back every 3 weeks if you have not been given a response
  • Youth that participate in the Host Home program will choose a Host/Host Family from available profiles
  • Youth will meet with the Host that they match with and see how the match works in person

  • After the initial intake process, Host and Youth will communicate and co-create a Housing Contract that clarifies each party’s expectations and agreements about sharing living space
  • Youth will discuss their housing, educational, and financial goals with the Host Home Case Manager
  • The Youth may move into their Host Home living space after:
    • The Host has been approved and trained
    • The Host’s residence has been visited
    • And the Youth/Host have gone through the matching process
  • Youth and Host then continue to abide by program agreements and their Housing Contract with each other, but are able to adjust and negotiate goals and living circumstances in ways that best support safety, stability, and personal growth
  • Youth will meet with the Host Home Case Manager regularly for check-in, advocacy, and resource assistance
  • Youth will attend bi-weekly Peer Support Groups
  • Positions on the Youth Advisory Board are also available for Youth interested in shaping the growth of the Host Home Program

  • Regular check-in appointments for Youth and the Host Home Case Manager
  • Monthly Case Manager home visits
  • Bi-weekly peer support groups with other Youth and the Host Home Case Manager
  • Host Home Case Manager support as needed
  • Outside organizations as needed

General Program

  • We intend Hosts and Youth to participate between 3-12 months.
  • Host involvement is dependent on the continued ability of the Host to provide private and safe living space
  • Youth involvement depends on how well they are able to cohabitate with the Host and making progress towards their financial, housing, personal, and educational goals
  • If both Youth and Host uphold their program agreements, have a good fit, and decide to continue their Housing Contract past the initial 3-12 months, the Host Home Housing Program will continue to provide support with review of the Host Home and Housing Agreement

  • Youth and Hosts
    • Host Homes are safer for Youth, especially in cases of Transition Age Youth (TAY) with trauma in their history
    • The potential for long-lasting relationships between Youth and Hosts
    • Hosts and Youth connect in a structured program that trains, matches, and supports them
    • Hosts receive training and financial assistance. Stipends are provided as needed for one-time set up costs or as a monthly stipend to cover the cost of hosting Youth
    • Youths have a private, affirming, supportive space to transition toward greater stability
    • Hosts are able to hand down living skills to Youth directly or indirectly (ie, cooking, cleaning, working, money management, taxes, hobbies, etc)
    • Greater stability will allow Youth to focus on education and employment goals
    • Past Youth and Hosts that have participated in hosting TAY, either informally or through Point Source Youth, have found the experience highly rewarding
    • Youth and Hosts may learn about new hobbies or interests through each other
    • Youth and Hosts have staff assistance with plans for exiting their Housing Contract
  • Program and Community
    • The program is cost effective and faster for our community to utilize by relying on existing residential infrastructure, rather than funding and building shelter
    • We are building ties within the local community
    • Host Homes is a transitional housing program that is operating to address the housing crisis within California

  • In programs operating with assistance from Point Source Youth, past Hosts found that certain issues stood out more in their memory
  • Though there will no doubt be challenges, we hope the structure of the Host Home program, Housing contracts, and staff can offset any extreme difficulties having to do with:
    • Meals/Youth hunger
    • Management of living space
    • Guests and visitors
    • Substance use
    • Clear communication and expectations
    • Maintaining appropriate Host/Youth boundaries
    • Mental health needs/Fear of abandonment or getting kicked out
    • Understanding which house areas are private or public use areas
    • Youth storage areas
    • Regular sleep times and quiet hours
    • Clear length of stay and exit plans

  • Hosts are responsible for all Youth meals
  • Hosts can use the available stipend to cover meals
  • Host Home Case Managers can also help Youth apply for Cal Fresh benefits

  • As if renting out a room, both Youth and Hosts are responsible for keeping living spaces clean and uncluttered
  • Youth and Hosts will define expectations for chores in their Housing Contract before the Youth’s move in
  • Host Home Case Manager will perform home visits at regular intervals to ensure living areas are in usable condition and safe for habitation

  • Having pets does not exclude Youth from Host Home participation
  • Youths are responsible for all animal care
  • Unless otherwise specified by the Host, animals must stay at the Youth’s side or properly kenneled
  • Acceptance of Youth with pets in an individual Host’s home is up to the Host
  • Host pets should be mentioned in the Host profile for Youth to make their own decision about when choosing a Host Home
  • Hosts and Youth will solidify any further pet agreements with each other in their Housing Contract

  • Host Homes is a harm reduction, trauma-informed program that believes in providing housing first
  • As a program, we do accept TAY residents who may use alcohol and other substances, but we do ask them about their relationship with substances
  • If Youth do use substances, we ask that they don’t possess or use them on-site of the Host’s residence
  • Further specifics will be left up to Youth/Host Housing Contracts

  • The Host Homes program asks that Youth do not keep or use weapons or stolen property on-site at the Host’s residence or any Center property
  • We are interested in cultivating long-term goals with Youth that go beyond survival behavior
  • Youth Behavior that violates Youth/Host Housing Contracts or Host Home program agreements may be asked to leave the Host Home

  • Ideally, most grievances would be resolved by two individual people in direct communication with each other
  • Grievances that two people are unable to resolve themselves will primarily be addressed through restorative justice practices
    • Using restorative justice practices, the parties meet with a mediator and have a support person present, if needed
    • The goal is to address the needs of both parties satisfactorily and decide what course of action will best address those
    • Further action may be taken, as necessary.
  • If you have concerns about Hosts or Youth you are residing with, please contact the Host Home Case Manager or Program Manager
  • If you have concerns about peers of yours also participating in the Host Homes Program, please contact the Host Home Case Manager or Program Manager
  • If you have concerns about resources that Housing Program staff referred you to, please inform the Host Home Case Manager or Program Manager
  • If you have concerns about the Host Home Case Manager or Program Manager, please contact the Executive Director
  • At any point, you can submit your grievance in writing, and/or ask explicitly for staff to document it. Grievance forms will be made available to Youth and Hosts

Program Background

  • We believe in a client-centered, narrative approach. This means we believe that clients are the author of their own story and the experts on what they need. We want to operate in a way that centers their inner and outer well-being as the primary goal.
  • We believe in using a lens of social justice and youth empowerment.
  • We believe in harm reduction strategies that are trauma informed.
  • We recognize and challenge systems of power, like racism and classism. The same actions may not result in the same outcomes for everyone.
  • We believe in youth autonomy. It is the Youth’s right to make choices for themselves, whether or not we agree with them.
  • We believe in caring adult allies. In the Host Home Program, adults should understand that there is an inherent power dynamic of hosting youth in their home, while seeking to minimize the impact of it. Instead, focusing on creating an environment of equity and autonomy with Transition Age Youth (TAY).

Other Questions

Didn't find the answer to your question here? Please contact Joann Taijala at [email protected] or +1 (707) 502-2228 for more information.