Housing Support for Homeless Teen Mothers

For Immediate Release: October 4, 2019

Contact: Laura Pedersen 520-744-9595 #116

Housing Support for Homeless Teen Mothers

Arizona Youth Partnership’s (AZYP) is pleased to announce new funding for a statewide innovative  Starting Out Right for Homeless Parenting Youth Program (SOR HPYP).  This program will provide safe and stable housing and supportive services for pregnant and parenting youth, ages 16 – 22, and their child. AZYP will recruit families to host pregnant and parenting youth throughout seven (7) Arizona counties including of Gila, Mohave, Navajo, Pinal, and Yavapai, Maricopa and Pima.  AZYP Case managers will support host families and provide case management to the pregnant or parenting youth. SOR HPYP is made possible through funding from the Administration for Children and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau.  AZYP was one of 17 organizations funded nationally this year.

Safe and stable homes for homeless or near homeless pregnant and parenting youth and their children is not readily available in Arizona.  This places a high risk to our vulnerable population to experience inadequate health care, resulting in increased risk for low birth-weight babies and high infant mortality; poor ability to secure financial resources; higher incidence of suffering from emotional and physical abuse; dropping out of school, and lacking the resources to secure meaningful employment.  Each of these risks places an increased likelihood of experiencing a rapid repeat pregnancy and homelessness, placing the young family and additional children at an even higher level of risk.

Developing 10 host homes throughout 7 counties will provide the stability needed to develop these young families into successful young adults and create the opportunity for their children to reach the appropriate developmental milestones and prevent intergenerational poverty.  These 7 counties will be served by AZYP offices in Kingman, Prescott Valley, Lakeside, Glendale, Mesa, and Tucson.

Each host home will have a designated SOR HPYP Case Manager to support the relationship between the host family and the pregnant or parenting youth while providing seamless supportive services to guide the young family towards a successful future.  Primary program elements provided beyond a safe and stable home environment include education and support on pregnancy, parenting/child development, financial literacy, education and career attainment, and assistance with resources and supports to establish healthcare, childcare, WIC, SNAP, and TANF benefits, access to diapers, car seats, and other needed items for the child.

AZYP is beginning recruitment for host families to participate in this project. Host families will receive a stipend for housing the parenting youth and their child and support for the teen will be provided by the local case manager. For more information check out: www.azyp.org/programs/maternitygrouphome

AZYP is a recognized leader in Arizona since 1990 for its expertise in providing prevention and community building resources to help youth grow up to be healthy, self-sufficient adults.  AZYP offers a continuum of care for youth and families to prevent risky behavior and to add services to intervene and help youth and families out of crisis.  AZYP wide range of programming assists youth of all ages in school-based, after-school and shelter settings. AZYP also helps the communities it serves to identify and solve, key youth problems through community coalitions. Programming includes how to build healthy relationships, strengthen families and avoid substance abuse. The overriding goal of AZYP’s services is to help youth prevent risky behavior and grow up to be healthy, self-sufficient adults. Go to www.azyp.org for more information.