Non-profit seeks local residents to open homes to homeless youths


The Thrive! Host Home Network aims to temporarily house some of the 200 unaccompanied homeless youths

FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — A local non-profit is piloting a program for residents to open their homes to young adults experiencing homelessness.

The Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) of Frederick County launched the Thrive! Host Home Network which aims to find safe, and stable transitional homes for some of the 200 unaccompanied homeless youths throughout the county.

The new program is currently accepting applications from local residents willing to temporarily house one young adult between the ages of 18-to-24.

“This is a situation where we’re not looking for families to parent, but really more to respect the youth’s privacy, the youth’s need for safety… add some stability to the youth’s life,” explained executive director for SHIP of Frederick County, Ed Hinde.

Hosts can apply for one of three temporary housing tracks: emergency housing for one to five nights, transitional housing for one to six months, and relief families, who would take in a young adult when their original host family is temporally away on vacation or a business trip.

SHIP provides several resources for youths through case managers, but Hinde say big gap for their clients is housing.

“We feel as thought the Host Home Network is an efficient, very effective way of being able to stabilize a youth’s situation while they pursue their school, pursue their education.”

Hinde adds that the program is one step in helping a young adult find permanent housing.

Last school year, Hinde says, there were 153 unaccompanied homeless youths within Frederick County Public Schools. He admits that it would not be possible this year to house all of them. Their goal within the first year of the pilot program is to house two dozen youths.

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