Our housing program helps to create a space for lasting change: 93% of participants in Outside In’s housing program go on to secure permanent, stable housing
“What are your goals? How can we help you achieve those goals?”
These are questions asked of every young person living in housing at Outside In. “We don’t set clients’ goals for them. We don’t tell them how to live their lives. It’s very self-directed,” says Lindsay Hyland, the housing program manager.
As you might imagine, goals vary from person to person. But for many, education is a key focus, whether finishing school, securing a GED, or getting into college. One young person currently calling Outside In home is excited to enter construction trades and is in school learning HVAC repair. Our residents are also encouraged to prioritize their health, both mental and physical. Our case managers work creatively to support their youth clients’ goals, from coding boot camps to The Circus Project, where they can explore personal growth through the circus arts.
With the support of you, our generous donors, Outside In offers a range of housing options for youth ages 16 to 24–allowing an individualized and graduated approach to youth independence.
Part of that independence is developing other life skills, too. Staff engage in partnerships even through weekly chores, not assuming everyone knows how to clean a bathroom, for instance. These connection points build trust, and trust creates a bridge for residents to open up about themselves. Vulnerability and honesty help our staff provide even more tailored support.
Goals can also be as simple as getting benefits activated, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Oregon Health Plan. “It helps when you have someone who can bring you into their office and say, ‘Let’s just call together,’” Hyland says.
What about the goals staff have for their clients? “Ultimately, we want them to move into stable housing.” That’s what “home” looks like at Outside In.
Living at Outside In: A Look Inside
The top two floors of our downtown facility contain 28 units and provide safe, stable housing for approximately 50 youth each year. Among these are specialized units with nurseries included for youth who are parents to young children, shared living communities where youth have individual rooms but a shared kitchen and living room space, and individual studio apartments. Because our housing program is transitional and our goal is to enable youth to live on their own, the average length of stay is 12 months, and the maximum is 24 months. Outside In is honored to help youth experiencing homelessness succeed in creating an independent life they want to live.
The young adults who live in our program have diverse backgrounds. Many faced rejection by their families of origin for being queer, trans, or gender nonconforming. Some were kicked out. Others fled violence. Still others have experienced generational poverty, having grown up in the shelter system. Many are neurodivergent. One thing they all share is the strength to endure and excel, despite the oppression and abuse they’ve already experienced.
In many ways, the staff at Outside In is filling in the gaps for folks who couldn’t count on their families of origin to help them meet their goals. Case managers can connect clients to colleagues who can help them with schoolwork, job applications, and navigating health care.
This work is made possible through the investment by you, our donors—you, our partners in this work. You help ensure clients have access to the full breadth of the wraparound services Outside In offers. Together we ensure youth residents at Outside In receive support to identify and hone their incredible strength and capabilities. Our housing program helps to create a space for lasting change: 93% of participants in Outside In’s housing program go on to secure permanent, stable housing. We know having safe, stable housing is an absolute necessity on their journey toward improved health and self-sufficiency. Thank you for making this work possible.
Youth in our transitional housing program have access to the full range of Outside In’s services including:
- 24/7 housing and case management
- Employment and education programs
- Mental health and substance use treatment
- A drop-in day program with meals
- A multi-disciplinary primary care medical clinic
It is because of you – our community –
that Outside In is able to save the lives of thousands of people each year.
We would love to hear from you!
Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, and questions with us.
We are grateful for your support!
Your support of Outside In creates health and hope for the more than 11,000 people we serve every year. We can’t say it enough: THANK YOU!