The National Runaway Safeline (NRS) is proud to announce that this month’s organization of the month is Covenant House.
Covenant House first opened their doors in 1972 in New York City and has since opened shelters in 30 different cities in 6 countries. What started as a NYC shelter for homeless youth, now offers street outreach, a short-term crisis shelter, and longer term transitional housing. Since 1972, Covenant House has reached over 1 million youth.
One way that Covenant House reaches and assists youth is through their outreach programs.
Outreach specialists search the city to locate homeless youth that might not know about services. The outreach specialists provide food and information about the crisis care centers. They are also involved in educating members of the community about the needs of homeless youth by sitting on committees, mayoral councils and communicating with schools or other community groups. The specialists work with other local organizations to form a connection with at-risk youth in learning about Covenant House services. They also focus on runaway prevention by visiting schools to connect youth to services before they run away from home.
If a youth does go to a Covenant House Shelter, they are provided assistance with immediate basic necessities upon arrival.
They are given a meal, a safe space to sleep and medical care. After receiving those three things, a youth has the option of receiving mental health or legal assistance to help them with their next steps.
Once a youth is feeling more secure and stable in their situation, they are given the opportunity to participate in longer term programming, such as; education or job readiness training. Youth may also have the option to apply for and be accepted into Covenant House’s transitional housing program where they can learn to live independently.
NRS appreciates everything that Covenant House has done and continues to do to make homeless and at-risk youth feel safe. Covenant House is one of the nearly 7,000 resources in the NRS’ database. NRS is thrilled to have such a strong connection to such a great organization.