Steps to Becoming a Host Home | Helping Young Adults Avoid Homelessness

Last updated: June 23, 2021, at 7:14 a.m. PT

Originally published: June 23, 2021, at 7:14 a.m. PT

Boy in YMCA host homes

So you’re interested in helping young adults at risk of experiencing homelessness by becoming a host home, but you’re not sure what the process looks like? The goal of our easy process is to make sure you feel prepared and supported in becoming a host! On average, new hosts take 1-2 months to complete this process, but it’s all on your own timeline.

1. Initial Phone Screening

The first step is to talk with a member of the host homes team. Reach out to us through the website, and we’ll give you a call to discuss an overview of the program and answer any questions you may have. Regardless of whether you’re ready to move forward with the process or just looking to learn about the program, we are excited to chat with you.

2. Interview with Host Homes Recruiter

The next step is an interview with the Host Homes Recruiter. We want to get to know you and your family and talk more in depth about the program. This is an opportunity for us to learn about your life and relay the details of of the Host Homes process. We need to get a sense of what your dynamic is at home so that we’ll be able to identify a good fit for you down the road.

3. Complete Application Forms

Everyone hates paperwork, luckily we don’t have too much of it! You just need to fill out an application and make an account on Volunteer Matters, the YMCA’s database for volunteers. We’ll run a background check and ask for three references.

4. Online Trainings and Orientation

Next, take the required online trainings, which focus on abuse prevention and keeping your home safe. You will also be asked to attend an orientation led by our Host Homes Recruiter. This comprehensive training touches on many topics that are important for hosts to learn about, such as boundary-setting, trauma, and cultural competency. The orientation also provides an opportunity to meet other hosts who are going through the process, a great way to build community.

5. Home Inspection

The last onboarding step is the home inspection. This quick check-in helps us to ensure that the space is safe and has the required components, such as a spare bedroom for the participant, a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and working smoke detectors. If you’re missing something small from our checklist, don’t worry, you can fix it prior to a participant moving in.

6. Meet and Greet

Now that you’ve completed the onboarding process, we will contact you about meeting with a potential participant! When we have someone on our referral list who we think would be a good fit for you, our case manager will set up a meet and greet. Both parties will be able to ask questions to get to know each other and see if it feels like a match. After the meeting, our case manager will contact you both separately to see what you think. If everyone agrees, the steps towards move-in begin. However, if either side feels uncomfortable, the process will halt. We want your honest feelings, and will never move forward if it isn’t the right fit for either party.

7. Move-In

Our case manager will coordinate with you and the program participant about move-in, whether transportation needs to be arranged, as well as any items that they are bringing to the house. We’re here to help you in any way we can!

Learn more about Host Homes or contact us.