Homeless youth center opens in York

aa8ea086295741fb84fb443b2012c8b0

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – A homeless youth center opened this week at 307 East King Street.

The facility is called Covenant House. It provides a temporary shelter where homeless youth can get back on their feet and get set up for success.

Case workers will work one-on-one with youth in need to help them meet personal goals and move toward independence.

“For a homeless youth, this may be a service that actually keeps them alive,” Associate Executive Director Hugh Organ said.

Covenant House is the largest privately funded agency providing services for runaway homeless and traffic youth in the country.

“When a young person comes in, it’s, ‘Hi, my name is Hugh. Welcome to Covenant House. Are you hungry? Do you want something to eat?’,” Organ said.

They provide case management services to anyone under the age of 21.

“We don’t want them to come in here five days a week and look for us to hold their hands,” Sara Keister, the program coordinator, said.

York County Human Services in February counted 33 youth who were homeless, but they say the number doesn’t tell the whole story. They said homeless youth are an “invisible” population.

“Typically, when we think of homeless, you’re thinking of somebody with a sign panhandling a corner. That’s not typically a youth,” Organ said. “Youth homelessness looks like kids hopping from couch to couch. They may be living in an abandoned house.”

The center will help meet basic needs, whether that’s providing food, clothing, a shower, or a computer to help complete homework or find a job.

“We teach kids to fish, we don’t do the work for them,” Organ said. “You have to do the work because we know how to do those things. These are skills our youth need to learn.”

Right now, the facility is only a drop-in center, but they hope to add beds and become a residential shelter sometime next year.

Online: covenanthousepa.org

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download the ABC27 News App and the ABC27 Weather App for your phone and tablet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s