More than 700 homeless young adults between the ages of 18-24 sought housing at Our Family and through the local coordinated entry system last year. 1 in 3 were pregnant or parenting and many had experienced sex or labor trafficking. Though some found shelter or were able to stay briefly with friends or extended family, nearly half were sleeping outdoors, in abandoned buildings, or other dangerous and unsafe places, leaving them at high risk for violence, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation. We believe that each of these young people deserves a safe place to call home, a caring adult to lean on, and the opportunity to escape homelessness, heal from trauma, and build a solid foundation on which they can live healthy, productive lives.
Ending young adult homelessness in Pima County will not be easy but Our Family is committed to making this vision a reality. We provide an unbroken pathway from homelessness to self-sufficiency for homeless young adults which includes street and community-based outreach, emergency shelter, and a variety of supportive housing programs. We offer specialized housing services ranging from six months to two years or more for homeless LGBTQ young adults, teen parents, sex and labor trafficked young adults, and young adults with disabilities.
Housing is just the beginning, though. National studies find that homeless young adults require much more – education, employment, independent living skills, behavioral and physical health care, and legal services. Each of our programs for homeless young adults include these elements. We connect young adults to employment and education programs that will put them on the road to lifelong success. We offer on-site counseling, life and parenting skills classes, and legal services. And we provide each individual with a case manager, a caring adult who helps them identify personal goals, address barriers to stability, and begin their journey out of homelessness.
Our Family offers a first step from homelessness for hundreds of young adults each year, providing not just a safe bed but the opportunity to build a community of support and stability.