YMCA Host Homes | Is it safe to host a young adult?

Last updated: June 4, 2021, at 10:18 a.m. PT

Originally published: May 20, 2021, at 9:58 a.m. PT

Are Host Homes Safe?

The YMCA Host Homes program matches young people ages 12-24 who are at risk of becoming homeless with hosts in the community who can provide the space and opportunity they need to build independent living skills, gain stability, and focus on goal attainment. This program provides a great opportunity for an individual or family who has a spare room to help a young person have a safe place to stay as the gain their independence. Safety is our top priority for all involved and one if the questions we get asked most frequently. Here’s what you should know if you’re considering hosting a young adult.

Vetting process

We are so excited every time we receive an inquiry from an interested host home! Our job is to talk with you about the program and walk with you through the application and onboarding process. We want to make sure all of our hosts know what their responsibilities will be, and feel prepared when the time comes for a participant to move in. Hosts also complete a training program where they learn about abuse prevention, trauma-informed care, cultural competency, and other important topics. Our goal in this process is to make sure hosts feel ready and have the tools under their belt to support a young person as best as they can.

Background check for hosts and participants

It is important for everyone involved to have as much information as possible! Hosts (and any additional 18+ adults in the home) will complete a background check. Like any other young person you might know, the participants in our program are ordinary teens and young adults from many different backgrounds that happen to be going through a hard time. They are utilizing this program for many different reasons, family crisis, involvement with the foster care system, among many others. We only place program participants who we feel are safe and stable enough to move towards independent living, and any who are 18+ will also undergo a background check.

Home inspection

Before welcoming a participant into the home, a staff member will complete a home inspection. We are checking to ensure the home is a safe and welcoming environment. This also allows us to understand any accessibility concerns that someone might encounter and helps us navigate the best possible match for each host home.

Frequent communication and check-ins

Once a participant has moved in, staff will begin to have frequent check-ins with the hosts, and our case manager will start having regular meetings with the young person. Communication is the key to success in the Host Homes program! Staff are available and want to hear any concerns or challenges you are having, as well as all of the successes, so that we can move through it together.

24/7 crisis line

As a host, you are never alone! The Crisis Outreach Response System for Young Adults (CORS-YA) is available in the event of a mental health crisis or a conflict that occurs after-hours. The host or participant can access this resource 24/7, and a trained mental health professional will help you in whatever capacity is needed.

Ready to become a Host Home? Learn more here >