Our HOST Home Program started in 2014. A HOST Home is a short-term voluntary placement for young adults, ages 18 – 21, who are at risk of being homeless or are currently homeless. The goal is to provide a safe, temporary, welcoming space for up to 6 months where the young adult has time to prepare to transition into independent living. Check out what one of our current young adults in the program shared with us about her experience!
What impact has the HOST Home Program had on you?
The HOST Home Program has already changed my life tremendously. It has allowed me to escape a [tough] home living situation, and has also allowed me to learn and develop skills on independent living. Doing so brought me out of depression and I am now free to pursue my interests and think about my future.
How has it challenged you to grow?
I was already somewhat independent before I joined the program, but afterwards it forced me to make decisions that I did not want to make, but needed to. Living semi-independently made it so that when I wanted to pursue something, I didn’t have to look for the approval of those who’s care I was under. It gave me space to learn for myself and create more art than I ever have before.
What independent living skills are you most proud of learning?
I am most proud of learning how to manage all the new things in my life; from researching and selecting the best insurance, managing work hours and balancing it with my social life, and overall keeping my life organized in a messy world. I am confident in my choosing of college and what I want to do with the rest of my life.
How has it impacted your relationships with family members?
After moving out, my relationship with my [family members] immediately improved. Adults in my family now treat me with the respect I deserve because I have proved to them that I am capable of doing things on my own and taking the opportunities given to me. I can leave the house whenever I want to visit with my siblings, which has made things much easier.
Where would you be without your HOST Home?
Like I said before, the HOST Home Program brought me out of a depression from [a tough living situation]. [The] constant cycle of strife kept me from blooming and discovering who I am. If it were not for the HOST Program, I would not be as outgoing and determined as I am now.
What would you say to your HOST family to share appreciation for them?
First off, I would say what is expected and normal in a situation like this: thank you. But it goes deeper than that. I realize that having a stranger move into your home can be scary and sometimes risky, so I am thankful for the compassion [the host home] has shown when inviting me into her home. [Their] decision to allow me to stay for a while has already had a great and positive impact on my life now and, I imagine, on my future. Thank you is only the start.