Covenant House provides holistic care for young people experiencing homelessness, including young families experiencing homelessness and, particularly, young moms and their babies. Read on to learn why that matters. And if you are a young person in need of care, see below how we can help; then visit the Our Houses pages on this website to find a Covenant House near you.
Pregnancy and parenting are common among young people facing homelessness, more so than among their stably housed peers.
About 44 percent of young women and 18 percent of young men, ages 18-25, who face homelessness report being a parent or pregnant. Each year, hundreds of thousands of children—up to 1.1 million in the U.S. in 2017—live with a young mom or, less frequently, a young dad who is homeless.
It is common for young people facing homelessness to be sexually active, including those who practice survival sex or are trafficked for sex, and they are at higher risk of pregnancy. Knowing they have no safe, stable place to care for and raise their children compounds their already traumatic test of daily survival.
Yet, young families experiencing homelessness find there are few options for safe shelter and services for them. They need everything—food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and safety, plus education, vocational training, and life skills to achieve a secure future for themselves and their children.
Care is critical. Without it, their children are at higher risk for a range of issues, from developmental delays to repeated bouts of homelessness as they grow older, and the young parents themselves go untreated for the trauma and other issues that drove them to and have kept them homeless.
Covenant House is one of only a handful of youth homeless shelters that offer housing and holistic care to young families.
Young families who come to Covenant House for services have traveled a hard road, and their decision to seek safe shelter and care is one they hope will be life-changing. About 29 percent of these young parents have a history of foster care, 37 percent have been involved in the justice system, 36 percent have been impacted by domestic violence, and 28 percent have a history of mental health challenges.
When we welcome a young mom or dad into one of our houses, we provide a host of wraparound services that both respond to their immediate needs and support them while they work on acquiring skills and knowledge that will allow them to build a stable life for themselves and their children.
The trauma-informed, resilience-focused care our highly trained staff offers is the product of more than 45 years of experience serving young people facing homelessness. In 2018, we welcomed more than 1,200 parents and babies to houses across our network. Over the course of the year, we provided 95,000 nights of safe and secure housing to these parenting youth and their children.
Each house tailors their services to the young parents and children in their care.
Family services typically include:
|Food||Health assessments||Medical/mental health care|
|Shelter||Health insurance||Job readiness|
|Safety||Substance use treatment||Vocational training|
|Emotional/social support||Case management||Childcare|
|Life skills||Parenting skills||Financial literacy|
|Child immunizations||Early intervention referrals||Legal documents|
Young Family Success Stories:
More than half our young parents and their children emerge from our crisis care program to independent and stable living situations; that figure rises to more than 75 percent for those youth who journey with us from emergency care through our transitional living, Rights of Passage, program. Learn about some of our young moms and their children who transformed their lives: