Youth & Shelter Services, Inc.

Transitional Living Services

Please Note

A study funded by the federal government is being done to determine how the YSS Transitional Living Program (TLP) (Polk and Story County locations) helps youth attain housing, education and employment, and live independently. There will be more applicants than spaces available in this program. Youth who are eligible for the program and agree to participate in the study will be selected into the program based on a lottery, so some youth will get into the program and some will not.


Transitional living: Supporting youth in obtaining self-sufficiency

Youth and young adults in Iowa struggle with homelessness for many reasons. They may have aged out of the foster care system, cannot live safely with a parent or family member, or don't have stable living arrangements. Our programs focus on helping these homeless youth - including pregnant or parenting women - to live independently and become self-sufficient.

Often a last resort for runaway and homeless youth, the YSS Transitional Living Program (TLP) helps those who are non-system involved, meaning they are not placed or directly supported by any governmental payment agency. A case worker or counselor works with each client to help set and achieve individual educational, vocational and personal living goals.


Philosophy and approach

Our Transitional Living Program provides living options that center on participants achieving of self-sufficiency. Through monitored facilities and onsite staff, participants may live in a cluster or scattered housing for 18-24 months (depending on the program requirements). During this time, programming elements emphasize living skills, including budgeting, problem solving, running a household, meal planning and seeking and maintaining employment.


Individuals (women and men, age 16-21)

YSS provides homeless young women and men a safe living environment and individualized support to help them reach their goals. Participants may stay in the program for up to 18 months. During this time, youth work one-on-one with Transitional Living Specialists to create and execute a plan to help them acquire safe and secure housing, stable employment and overall self-sufficiency. Youth are expected to place a portion of their salary in a savings account for use after leaving the program.


Parenting or pregnant women (age 16-25)

Our multiple Lighthouse locations serve as residences for a unique transitional living program experience that centers on the health and well-being of the mother and child.

Lighthouse Transitional Living staff members provide assistance in helping young women meet prenatal and health needs. Parenting skills are also taught, addressing child development, nutrition and wellness and childcare.

Participants may stay at the Lighthouse for up to two years. During this time, they are encouraged to complete or further their education, maintain regular employment and place a portion of their salary in a savings account for use after leaving the program.


Iowa Locations

Youth & Shelter Services Host Home and TLP
Story County

Youth & Shelter Services of Boone Co.
TLP & Host Home

Des Moines
Iowa Homeless Youth Centers Host Home
Polk County

Des Moines
Iowa Homeless Youth Centers Buchanan TLP
Polk County

Warren County TLP

Youth & Shelter Services of Marshall Co. Host Home & TLP

Mason City
Francis Lauer TLP
Cerro Gordo County

Webster City
Youth & Family Center of Hamilton County TLP

Referrals may be made by any concerned persons, by other agencies, or by self-referral.

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