New Program Puts Homeless Youth Into Housing And Teaches Them Life Skills

Aug 22, 2017

One local social service agency has launched a new program to house Pittsburgh's homeless youth ages 18-24.

Sponsored by Auberle and the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, the “At Home” initiative gives clients a place to live and a case manager, who helps find educational and vocational training, life skills training and time-limited help with rent -- all obstacles caseworkers said are critical to remaining in permanent housing.

“We’re not just saying, ‘OK, you’re in housing, now figure it out.’ Because oftentimes, they haven’t necessarily seen the skills needed to maintain permanent housing modeled to them,” said Aisling McIntyre, Auberle's housing resource coordinator.

But the housing component is critical, she said.

“Asking our youth that doesn’t have stable housing to then find full-time jobs and save up money and perform all these expectations of young adults when they don’t have that basic security of housing isn’t necessarily an appropriate request,” said McIntyre.

The “At Home” program is only open to those who are truly homeless, so people who are couch surfing or living with relatives or friends won’t qualify, McIntyre said, but there are other resources in Allegheny County for those situations.

So far they've found housing for three homeless young adults.