The Shaw House Mission is to engage youth who are homeless, or at-risk of becoming homeless, in achieving stability and a viable plan for the future by providing a safe, stable environment, access to essential services, supportive adult connections, and to advocate for changes that address the needs of homeless youth.
|Amber was removed from her parent’s custody at the age of 14 due to substantiated child abuse and neglect. Amber had mild cognitive impairments and a developmental disability, which made it that much more difficult to find a foster family – and as such, she was brought to a shelter. Amber was quickly discharged from that shelter due to their inability to meet her needs, and she made her way to Shaw House. Shaw House immediately took Amber in, provided shelter, and assigned her a Case Manager through the Day Program who quickly wrapped a team around her consisting of the Clinical Director, Program Manager, Housing Navigator, Case Manager, and DHHS Caseworker. Amber eagerly took advantage of all services offered through the Day Program. She began working with a mental health counselor on-site, was a regular attendee of various skill building groups, and worked closely with her team. Amber met each milestone that was set for her, including obtaining her High School Diploma (Hi-Set) and gaining essential independent living skills through support and guidance offered by the staff. The Day Program staff ensured Amber’s basic needs were met, and was an advocate for her at every turn. Eventually, Amber transitioned from the 2nd floor emergency shelter to the Transitional Living Program on the 3rd floor of the Shaw House – while continuing to access the services offered through the Day Program. Four years later in early December of 2021, at the age of 18, Amber successfully transitioned from the Shaw House. Her Case Manager played an instrumental role with linking her with the Office of Adults with Disabilities (OADS), and with their assistance, was able to offer her a placement within a shared living program – a semi-independent living program with live-in supports.
It is frightening to think of what could have happened to Amber if the Day Program did not exist. With no home available, where would she have gone? What would her life have looked like day to day? How would the basic needs of such a vulnerable teenage girl at the young age of 14 have been met? How would she have remained safe from the hazards of the streets? These are questions that are incomprehensible to think about and overwhelming to answer. Due to the rapid intervention by the Day Program, and service delivery over this entire four-year period, Amber has been able to safely and successfully transition to an independent living environment that meets her complex and unique needs to assist her in continuing to gain the skills necessary to become self-sufficient.