How to Open and Sustain a Drop-In Center for Homeless Youth

This paper discusses how to operate a youth drop-on center and different ways to provide services to homeless youth to enhance their motivation for change.

Drop-in centers have the potential to facilitate engagement of homeless youth into treatment and back into the mainstream. However, little guidance was found in the literature regarding how to open and sustain a drop-in center for homeless youth. This paper offers such guidance, including information that may be useful for developing a change philosophy that guides the center structure, and for identifying a building and location conducive to facilitate activities and access for the youth. Guidance for structuring the drop-in center and for hiring and training staff is also offered. Since the U.S. suffers from a dearth of services for homeless youth, the direction offered in this paper may help guide those who seek to provide services to these vulnerable and underserved youth. (authors)

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Children and Youth Services Review