Created in 1986, Rights of Passage (ROP) is designed to focus on the longer-term needs of homeless youth that are harder to address in a crisis shelter setting. Youth can enter into ROP from the crisis program, outreach services or be referred by other agencies.
While it provides more independence than a shelter, it is not independent living; rather it is semi-independent, life skills-based, transitional housing. Youth are subject to rules and guidelines within the housing, must develop a personal plan, attend life skills classes, meet with workers etc.
The duration of stay and the living conditions vary in each Covenant House but the overall focus is the same: helping youth develop the skills needed to live independently or to live on their own with minimal supports. Most youth who come to Covenant House have never learned the skills necessary to live independently, including grocery shopping and cooking, maintaining a budget and paying bills, finding and keeping a job, completing their education and just generally taking care of themselves. Rights of Passage teaches these skills and helps youth move on to independent living (or another form of housing, including permanent supportive housing or further transitional housing).