Covenant House Texas
The Crisis Shelter houses each night an average of 40-50 youth ages 18 – 24 and their children. Boys and girls in the residential program sleep on separate wings, four to a room. Residents eat three well balanced meals in the cafeteria, and a sack lunch is prepared for anyone who will be away during mealtime. The Crisis Shelter program provides emergency shelter and a comprehensive program of case management, life-skills classes, job-readiness help, mental health, substance abuse, and clinical services.
Peers Educating Peers, or PEP TALK, is a prevention program through which trained Covenant House Texas youth accompany the CHT Prevention Specialist into schools, community centers and churches to talk to kids and parents deemed by teachers and counselors “at risk” for becoming homeless. These peer educators give personal testimonies and provide alternatives for dealing with difficult situations at home, with peers and in school. Because they are from the same age group as their audiences, they can give a powerful, first-person account of the dangers of the street and of making bad choices. Youth participants can become peer educators. Peer educators receive stipends each time they participate.
Covenant House Texas provides outreach to youth on the street five nights a week from 6pm-10pm. The CHT van goes out into the areas where homeless youth congregate. The Outreach Worker, volunteers, peer educators and other support staff provide youth with information about services available to them, food and blankets and work to meet any other needs the youth may have. The goal is to refer or take them to a shelter and get them into a program that will deal with their issues and help them on the path to independent living.
Rights of Passage (ROP) is a 12-18 month transitional living program on campus for non-parenting young adults between the ages of 18 – 20. Residents in the Crisis Shelter must apply and be accepted into this program. The program is designed to provide young people with the tools they need in order to become self-sufficient, productive members of society. Resident advisors facilitate life skills workshops on topics such as money management, cooking, building healthy relationships and improving self-esteem. All program participants work and many are enrolled in school or vocational training programs.