Housing Resources for Youth works to reduce the number of homeless youths in our Midcoast community through local solutions.
Ending Housing Instability for Youth
At HRY we are dedicated to ensuring youth have access to safe and stable housing whether they are homeless or at-risk. We work with youth to help them to complete their education, reunify with their families when appropriate and make successful transitions to post-school life.
Who we are and how we founded HRY
Housing Resources for Youth was founded in 2013 to provide safe, adequate, and stable housing for high school students in the Midcoast area who experience homelessness. Staff from Brunswick Topsham Housing, Tedford Housing, and the Merrymeeting Homeless Youth Project joined with community volunteers in recognizing that the communities served by Mt. Ararat, Morse and Brunswick High Schools have limited housing options for those youth who do not live at home.
Initially the HRY group pursued two parallel courses of action:
First, they assessed the nature of the problem through consulting with school counselors, McKinney-Vento liaisons, and area youth services. Then the group considered various housing models around the country and determined that the Host Home model would best meet the needs of our youth, given the limited resources available and the rural nature of the area.
Second, they sought to develop community support for the project. Church group members and People Plus staff joined the effort. In 2016, HRY held community forums to raise awareness of the many youths who face homelessness in the Bath/Brunswick/Topsham region. The response to the forums and accompanying press coverage indicated serious interest among community members.
In 2017, local donors and foundation grants enabled HRY to engage a consultant to look further at existing host home programs and to develop both a host home program design and an initial business plan. Tedford Housing served as fiscal agent until HRY was incorporated as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit agency. The plan included the part-time coordinator who was employed in 2018. Since then, HRY has collaborated with area schools and McKinney-Vento liaisons to identify appropriate youth and to assist in connecting them with host families in their area. Close relationships with youth service organizations ensure that appropriate supportive services are provided to the youth in host homes. In addition, HRY continues to develop community and financial support toward a strong and sustainable organization.
Program Values of HRY
• Respect for each youth’s dignity and individuality.
• Recognition of youth’s strengths and accomplishments, as well as challenges.
• Acknowledgement of the impact of diverse backgrounds on emotional and mental development.
• A deep commitment to learning and meaningful development for the youth in the community, the network of host families and the people who support the HRY program.