Our open intake policy is one of the things that makes Covenant House unique. The fact that no child is ever turned away from services is a defining factor that allowed more than 50,000 homeless kids to find a home at Covenant House last year.
When kids come to Covenant House, the first step is to address their immediate needs – a warm meal, a shower, and the chance to sleep in a bed and to wear clean clothes. But crisis care at Covenant House involves much more than just fulfilling these basic needs – it's about building a foundation of safety and trust that, for many kids, has been completely eroded by a life on the streets.
Within 72 Hours of Entering Covenant House, Every New Arrival Visits Our In-House Clinic for Medical Attention
For homeless kids with no healthcare, access to medical staff at Covenant House is a precious resource. And if someone comes to us with a medical crisis, no matter what the time of day, the clinic is there to provide immediate care. Because a large percentage of the kids who come to Covenant House struggle with serious mental health problems, this initial medical visit allows us to give homeless youth the psychiatric care they urgently need. From there, we can assess if an individual might benefit from one of our unique mental health programs.
Teens Are Evaluated in Terms of Job Readiness, Educational Status, and Legal Status
We gather basic information about young people, such as their age, where they have been staying, and any identification they might have. We will even drive new intake cases to the last place they were staying to pick up any belongings they were forced to leave behind.
Kids Entering Covenant House Have Little Knowledge of Their Own Rights and Protections Under the Law
If we learn that a young person needs legal aid during the intake process, our staff lawyer can immediately provide assistance in obtaining a restraining order or identity changes to protect against predators. We can also help deal with unresolved legal issues that may stand in the way of a teen becoming a successful, employed adult.
Developing and Implementing a Continuum of Care
At any point, homeless kids can choose not to commit to a Covenant House program – we leave the choice up to them. But if they do decide to stay, Covenant House staff will develop an individual case plan tailored to each child's needs.
These plans help guide homeless teens off the streets and give them the tools they need to lead happy and successful lives. By providing a continuum of care that ranges from job training to grief counseling, from GED classes to the Mother/Child program, we provide support for every phase of a young person's journey at Covenant House.