A local agency is seeking a haven for young adults lacking a stable place to live.
The Haven Project, a Lynn-based organization that provides services to young adults who struggle with unstable living environments, has been piloting a Host Home program for two years that helps connect clients with temporary quarters while they improve their lives.
Volunteers agree to house a young adult for three to six months to allow them to get on their feet, said Executive Director Gini Mazman.
“If they can get a breather for three to six months, they have a chance to get their feet out from under them and finish high school, finish college courses, save up money for first and last month’s rent, they will have a better chance to succeed,” Mazman said.
An informational event will be held at Land of a Thousand Hills Cafe on Munroe Street July 26 at 5 p.m. Mazman said her goal is to recruit four people to sign up to be a host home.
Many of the 160 clients the agency serves have landed in difficult situations because they have aged out of foster care, they come from unstable homes, they fled a situation where parents or family members were involved with drugs, or they attend a community college that does not provide housing, she said.
“Lynn has the largest number of homeless and unaccompanied young adults in the state,” Mazman said.
The statistic does not include teens and young adults who live in a homeless shelter with their parents.
The Haven Project pairs screened and approved community members with youth who they believe are a good fit. The volunteer acts as hosting home and provides a bedroom rent-free while the young adult works intensively to finish school, obtain employment, save money, and practice life skills so they can live independently.
“We want to be able to offer them those options,” said Mazman. “Without those safe options, they may put themselves in dangerous situations.”
The organization is also launching a License to Thrive initiative to pay for the costs associated with driving lessons, car rentals, and license tests for 10 clients.
“Getting a driver’s license is usually put lower on the list when you’re worried about paying for day to day things,” said program development coordinator Hannah Colbert. “Without a stable adult in your life, you don’t have access to a car or someone to practice with. But, so many jobs require a driver’s license that don’t require you to drive. It’s sort of a screening tool to employees.”
Three driving lessons, a driving test, car rental costs, and the cost of obtaining a physical copy of a licence average about $300, said Colbert."