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.
|While the YHDP program is just now being launched as of January 2022 and therefore, does not yet have a success story in that particular program, we have been offering housing options for youth through housing vouchers from the Maine State Housing Authority. Below is a success story of a youth we supported in obtaining housing:
Lindsay was adopted internationally by an American family in Maine. Her adopted parents provided a highly sheltered life for Lindsay. She was rarely allowed to interface with the outside world, was home-schooled, and lacked basic interpersonal and daily living skills. Lindsay fled from her home when she was 16 due to the physical and emotional abuse she was enduring at home. With nowhere to go, she ended up at the doors of Shaw House.
Lindsay was highly vulnerable due to her lack of exposure to the outside world. Shaw House quickly wrapped services around her, and began diligently working with her to build skills to aid her in daily tasks and safety skills (i.e. not getting into cars with strangers, etc.). With reunification off the table due to significant concerns for her safety, it became clear that Lindsay’s only option was to transition into the Shaw House Transitional Living Program to prepare her for living autonomously. While in the program, staff worked diligently to link her with an educational program and to track down educational credits she had earned to date through her home schooling.
Lindsay resided with the Shaw House for nearly 2 years, when at the age of 18, Shaw House connected her with a housing voucher through the Maine State Housing Authority. Shaw House supported Lindsay after her transition and continued to be the ones Lindsay went to for the things that a typical youth may go to their parent about. When she bought her first car, she drove it to Shaw House to ask staff to check it out to be sure it was a good deal. When she needed help understanding how to switch over the electric bill to her name at her new apartment, a staff member was by her side helping her make the call. Lindsay secured not one, but two jobs, working more than 40 hours a week. She was able to become self-sufficient and no longer required the housing voucher, and now pays her rent autonomously. Her support system has expanded beyond Shaw House to include siblings she has rekindled relationships with through mediation efforts provided by Shaw House as well as other healthy adult role models. Lindsay continues to thrive and defy all odds – we have been fortunate to be part of her journey.