Keeping children safe, strengthening families, and building healthy communities since 1899.

Housing Teens in Need

Bethany's Housing Teens in Need program began in 2010 to address the issue of youth homeless in the Quad Cities. The Scott County Continuum of Care and Homeless connections of Northwest Illinois consist of several community organizations, including Bethany for Children & Families. Annually, approximately six to ten youth are transitioned to stable, independent housing, and an average of 10 to 14 youth are active participants in the program at any given time.

What is the Housing Teens in Need Program?

The Housing Teens in Need program provides comprehensive services that address the most pressing needs homeless youth have: a safe, stable home; income adequate to meet their most basic needs; and assistance and direction in overcoming the problems that interfere with their ability to live independently. The program encourages self-sufficiency by giving young people opportunities to exercise leadership and responsibility, build skills, and get involved in their communities.

Who is eligible for Housing Teens in Need?

Housing Teens in Need program services are available to male and female youth ages 16 to 21 experiencing an episode of homelessness. Typically, participants or their families have mental health, substance abuse, or poverty issues that have upended home stability. Youth must attend school and/or be employed. Single parenting youth may also be accepted into the program.

How does Housing Teens in Need help homeless youth and teenagers?

Once individuals are settled in their preferred neighborhood (we strive to keep individuals in their home neighborhoods to prevent further disruptions at school, work, and support networks) and their basic needs are met, intensive case management helps them identify the issues that caused homelessness, while setting goals, connecting them with community resources, and preventing problems that could cause homelessness in the future.

What services does the program provide?

Case managers will provide services to help the individual with educational or employment counseling, money management and budgeting, mental health assistance, community vocational training skills, assistance with resolving legal issues, and community medical, dental, and psychiatric services. Once the individual completes the program, he or she will continue to reside in the apartment to reduce disruption to school or work life.

How are referrals handled for this program?

Referrals to the program can be made by community members, educators, counselors, social service agencies, and homeless shelters. A case manager will interview the individual and use the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment to estimate the youth's abilities before he or she enters the program.

Where are the youth located?

Client-youth are located in various apartments located in the Illinois Quad Cities. The apartments are furnished through donations from the community. There is on-going, random monitoring of all client-youth 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. During program participation period, the Housing Teens in Need program prepares youth to transition into adulthood and live in a stable, safe, clean environment while utilizing community resources for continued future independent success.

Contact Information

Kit Speirs
Program Coordinator
Homeless Programs
(309) 736-6638
kspeirs@bethany-qc.org

Referral Hotline

(309) 736-6611

Thank you to our media sponsors

WVIK and NPR logo Quad-City Times logo