The Story

Boy Yngman Back Streetnightshtk935


In the early 1970s social services providers and the U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF) recognized that there were youth and young adults who needed supports and services but were not eligible for these through existing systems. These youth were not being captured in Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, or Mental Health Systems and were experiencing housing instability, homelessness, or running away from home. The Basic Center Program (Runaway and Homeless Youth Program) was created as a pilot project and Child and Family Services became one of the first grantees in the nation to provide prevention and intervention services for unaccompanied youth ages 12-17.


Congress passed the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act for the first time and allocated funding to homeless youth services across the country. Child and Family Services success with the Basic Center Program (Runaway and Homeless Youth Program) pilot project allowed us to be part of receiving the first round of official Runaway and Homeless Youth funding to continue this project in Southern NH.


Child and Family Services expanded Runaway and Homeless Youth Services receiving ACF funding for the Transitional Living Program. This program began with one home in Concord serving 6 youth ages 18-21 (upon entry) who were experiencing homelessness.


Child and Family Services expanded Runaway and Homeless Youth Services again receiving ACF funding to provide low barrier, street-based services to homeless youth in Manchester through the Street Outreach Program.


With charitable funding the Youth Resource Center Drop-in was opened at 404 Chestnut Street in order to provide a safe place off the streets for runaway and homeless youth ages 12-23 to access basic needs services such as food, clothing, a place to take a shower and do laundry. Although the drop-in has not been at this location for some time, youth continue to refer to the drop-in as the 404.


Child and Family Services purchased a duplex home in Dover and renovated it to expand the Transitional Living Program. In addition, ACF funding was received to begin providing the Maternity Group Home (Parenting Transitional Living Program) to serve youth ages 18-21 (upon entry) who are pregnant or parenting and experiencing homelessness.


The Transitional Living Program expanded again to include a site in Manchester. This was NH’s first green affordable housing project. The Youth Resource Center Drop-in also relocated to 99 Hanover Street in order to expand to include computers and phones for youth use.


A new Street Outreach Program was developed on the seacoast covering 14 towns from the Maine border to the Massachusetts border as a response to the community’s recognition of the increasing concern of youth and young adults experiencing housing instability and homelessness. This provided low-barrier, street-based services to runaway and homeless youth ages 12-21.


The Basic Center Program (Runaway and Homeless Youth Program) expanded to the Seacoast and received ACF funding to support the unique needs of unaccompanied youth ages 12-17 who were experiencing housing instability or homelessness.


An Outreach Van was added to the Seacoast Street Outreach Program to more easily provide basic needs services to youth throughout the entire 14 town coverage area. The van contains food, clothes, hygiene items, and survival aid for youth ages 12-21.


The Youth Resource Center Drop-in moved to 326 Lincoln Street in Manchester. With help from the Stebbins Family and ProCon Construction this space was renovated and specifically designed to meet the needs of runaway and homeless youth ages 12-23. This currently serves as the headquarters for the Street Outreach Program and Basic Center Program (Runaway and Homeless Youth Program).

Below: Watch a documentary film on youth homelessness in New Hampshire.

Waypoint's 10th Annual Sleepout

2024 Social Facebook Cover 851x315