Find a Home

Serving youth ages 18–24 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness

This includes youth who are living in a car, staying with friends, couch surfing, aging out of foster care, etc.

What are Host Homes?

Home Grown uses the host home model which pairs transition-aged youth (18-24) experiencing homelessness with community members in Humboldt County, who have extra space in their homes. This approach provides youth with access to stable short-term housing for (1-12 months, but typically 3-6 months). Youth in our host home program get to choose who they will live with. During their stay in the host home, Home Grown’s Case Manager will work with them on pursuing their housing, academic, and employment goals, and help them save up and search for long-term housing.

Program Requirements

  • Must be between 18-24 years old
  • Must be currently experiencing homelessness
    • This includes temporarily staying at a friend or family member’s house, staying at a shelter, couch-surfing, about to exit/already exited foster care, squatting, staying in your car, etc.
  • Understand that this program is only short-term shelter (1-12 months, but typically 3-6 months) and you must be continuously working towards achieving your goals related to independent living during your stay at the host home.
  • Agree to regularly meet with your assigned case-manager and attend a monthly Host Youth Support Group Meeting.
  • Agree to follow the rules in the shared housing agreement during your stay in the host home.
    • You will work collaboratively with the host to develop your housing agreement.

Why Choose Home Grown?

  • We’re here to support you, not boss you around. You’re an adult and we believe you need to make your own decisions. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions, and we respect the decisions you make.
  • We know that one size does NOT fit all—every youth has their own unique needs. Home Grown aims to provide each youth with the individualized support they need to be successful.
  • Rent, utilities, and food are included. If you have or find work, not having to pay for these expenses will make it easier to save money for when you exit the program and transition to living independently.
  • Live in a supportive environment. Hosts are caring community members who go through training and learn how to support youth during their stay.
  • Home Grown aims to be responsive to youth needs. We believe in a youth-centered approach, and provide opportunities for youth to participate in guiding the work we do.
  • We understand that everyone has different needs and that our program may not be the best fit for everyone. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to us—if we can’t meet your needs, we may still be able to direct you to a different program that can.

Is it Safe to Move Into a Host Home During COVID?

We’ve adjusted our program to help keep you and hosts safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are taking additional precautions when matching youth and hosts during the pandemic. We developed some shared agreements for hosts and youth during the COVID-19 outbreak to make sure that both youth and hosts have information and a framework to reduce the risk of COVID-19 contagion.

The Matching Process

  1. Fill out the youth application form.
  2. Go through an informational interview with Home Grown staff, where we’ll get to know you better. You can ask questions and we’ll try to figure out if you are a good fit for the program.
  3. If you’re a good fit and decide to move forward, we’ll begin the matching process. We’ll try to match you with an available host based on shared interests, lifestyle, and other factors. We’ll share information about potential matches with you so you can decide which host to move forward with.
  4. Initial meeting with the potential host to get to know each other.
  5. If both you and the potential host think it's a good fit, then you’ll move on to a second meeting where you will work together to develop a housing agreement prior to moving in. Both parties must sign and agree to the housing agreement.
  6. Both parties decide on a move in date, and then you move in.
  7. You’re not expected to pay rent or utilities, and your host will provide you with food during your stay.
  8. Your Home Grown case manager will work with you to define your goals for the program. While living with your host, you’re expected to work towards achieving these goals so that you are able to successfully exit the program in 1-12 months.

A life-changing experience for both youth and hosts

Home Grown may be a new non-profit for Humboldt County, but host home programs have been around for a while now. Listen to current and former youth and hosts describe their experiences in Host Home programs around the country:

More Questions?

Still have questions? Find our answers to frequently asked questions here or reach out to Joann Taijala at [email protected] or +1 (707) 502-2228 for more information.


Ready to get started? Fill out the youth application form and a Home Grown Staff Member will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you are a youth wanting to get into the program, or a youth worker referring a youth, please contact Joann Taijala at [email protected] or +1 (707) 502-2228 for more information.