HPRP Youth Program Profiles: Valley Youth House

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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Solutions Brief | September 21, 2010

Files: PDF | 108 KB | 1 page

nameValley Youth House operates more than 100 programs for at-risk and homeless youth throughout southeastern Pennsylvania that emphasize prevention, intervention and positive youth growth and development.

Services include youth shelters, group homes, a variety of independent living programs, and non-housing programs designed to help foster, former foster, and non-systems youth achieve independence and self-sufficiency.

HPRP Initiatives
In 2009, Valley Youth House initiated a Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) that was designed based on their Supportive Housing Program model. Youth between the ages of 16 and 22 are offered comprehensive rental assistance in a scattered-site model. The lease for each apartment is in the youth’s name and they receive intensive case management as long as they are in the program, typically for one year. Youth are also eligible for up to six months of after-care services after they exit the program.

In order to qualify for HPRP assistance a youth applicant must be homeless or at-risk of homelessness, as well as willing to work within Valley Youth House’s program requirements. HPRP clients do not pay rent but are required to have a savings account and receive extensive budgeting and housing management training.

Community Partnerships
Valley Youth House operates its HPRP program in four counties—Northampton, Bucks, Philadelphia, and Montgomery — and each county is the primary HPRP grantee. Valley Youth House’s established programs laid the foundation for partnerships in each county, allowing greater ease in communication while implementing the HPRP funds. The organization also works closely with other
community agencies, social service providers, and landlords in the local housing markets when housing youth in the HPRP program.

Constraints
Although the HPRP program has expanded Valley Youth House’s resources and has reached youth who were previously not captured, there remain significant challenges. Bill Montsavage, the Director of the Independent Living Programs, says, “one of the hardest aspects has been striking the balance between a focus on rapid re-housing and prevention.”

Other challenges specific to HPRP include an organizational learning curve in learning how to use the funding, difficult reporting requirements, and the need to supplement HPRP with other funds to deliver the supportive services needed.

Achievements
Valley Youth House is currently serving 23 youth with HPRP assistance and has at least six more progressing through the eligibility process. Clients started moved into housing in late 2009 and the organization expects HPRP to serve a total of 46 youth during the course of the HPRP funding cycle.

Valley Youth House programs have a high rate of successfully housing clients, and—with HPRP as an additional resource—the success rate is likely to increase.