Our supportive housing resource is a place where youth can rest, recharge, and heal. In each home, mentors act as the first point of contact for youth. Community is built through weekly house dinners, shared experiences, and daily interactions. It’s a model that feels more like a family than a program. We recognize that having stable housing is only the start of long term stability. It’s through community that youth begin to rebuild their circles of support and achieve interdependence.
At A.Y.A. Youth Collective, housing exists to bridge the gap between homelessness and interdependence. Finding long term stability only occurs when community and young people work in tandem to create opportunities for growth and change. We walk alongside each young person who moves into our homes, setting goals together that make sense for their life circumstances. Each house has dedicated mentors on site ready to support at any time along a youth’s journey toward stability. Learn about each of our homes and meet our mentors below!
Youth Welcomed Home Since 2012
House Dinners Shared
Cherry’s theme, Barruk Haaba, means welcome. At this house, all are welcome and are welcomed as they are.
Prince Shema became a mentor in 2020. He is excited to offer encouragement and support to youth by sharing hope and instilling confidence. Prince hopes to establish a culture of mutual respect in the Cherry Home. Prince also works in the human resource department at a food industry company. In his role, he provides support to staff facing a variety of situations.
Launched in 2016, 2 mentors, Space for 4 youth
Logan’s theme, Savvato, means rest. At this house, youth experience true rest through the safety and stability of the home.
House Mentor: Tara Colvin (She/Her)
She says home looks safe, sounds like laughter, smells fresh and clean, and tastes like comfort food.
Launched in 2017, 2 mentors, space for 3 youth
Naylor’s theme, Echadh, means unity. At this house, youth experience true unity through community and connection.
House Mentor: Jadei McPeak (He/Him)
He says home looks like a land of peace, sounds like ocean waves, smells like givenchy pi, and tastes like gravy.
Launched in 2012, 1 mentor, space for 4 youth
Underhill’s theme, Agape, means love. At this house, youth experience the fullness of love through an interdependent community. They rely on their mentor and one another for support.
House Mentor: Kat Knox (She/Her)
She says home looks like keeping those you care for close, sounds like laughter and sounds of contentment, smells like good food on the stove, and tastes like warm vanilla.
2 mentors, space for 4 youth
Lafayette’s theme, Radix, means root. In this house, youth experience the rootedness and stability of a place to call home.
House Mentor: Candee Martin (She/Her)
She says home looks colorful like the earth, sounds like birds, laughter, joy, and movement, smells like spaghetti, fried chicken, and garlic bread, and tastes like upside down lemon pineapple cake.
Launched in 2010, houses 4 youth
House Mentor: Carissa Ureña (She/Her)
She says home looks like a safe, familiar place with warm light, sounds like laughter with friends, music to clean to and hearing the rain through the open window, smells like warm cookies, and tastes like ice cream on a hot day.
Launched in 2020, houses 3 youth
What We Do
One to two mentors and three to four youth live together in a duplex
Youth sign lease to foster ownership
Youth pay $300 per month for rent
Day to day interactions with mentors and roommates
Establishment of traditions for birthday celebrations and holidays
Long-lasting & consistent relationships
Move out into independent housing
Obtain living-wage employment
Pursue additional education
Secure reliable transportation
To inquire about openings within our homes please visit our drop-in center. Our advocates are the first to know when there is an opening and can talk with you if our supportive housing resource is the best next step for you! We will also explore housing options from other providers to find the best fit for you!
Pillars of our Housing Resource:
Youth enter a house and become a part of a community like none other. Youth receive immediate support and encouragement through an environment where they are known and their basic needs are met. The community is built through weekly house dinners, birthday celebrations, and time together during the holidays.
We partner with community organizations to provide youth advocacy/case management services. Each young person sets short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals, and works to achieve these goals with their youth advocate, house mentors, and supportive networks.
Building A Future
Educational barriers are broken down as youth obtain high school diplomas, GEDs, and attend college. Employment barriers are decreased as supportive employers partner to hire youth and train them in vocational sectors. Authentic life skills training occurs within the context of real-life situations and creates opportunities for growth.
How big are the homes?
Each home is typically a duplex style home with room for 3-4 youth. The additional unit typically can house 1 or 2 mentors.
How much does it cost to live in a home?
Youth pay $300 dollars a month. $50 of this cost it put towards utilities.
What support do youth receive once they leave AYA housing?
Youth have the opportunity to earn a scholarship of up to $1,200 payable upon move out. These scholarships are paid to youth who pay rent on-time and work diligently towards achieving the goals they develop with their mentors.
What are youth required to do?
Youth participate in weekly house dinners and other activities and meetings with mentors and the Housing Coordinator.
What can youth expect from their house mentor?
Mentors help youth learn to drive, study for exams, identify goals, learn to cook, learn from youth about their favorite meals, expose youth to more opportunities and experiences and more. Most importantly, mentors provide genuine encouragement and support as youth work towards their goals!
“I joined A.Y.A. in the summer of 2016. After my family and friends refused or didn’t have a place to give me, I contacted A.Y.A. and they gave me a place to stay, to sleep.”
“At this house, I was able to graduate from high school and start a full-time job! And now, I’m moving into my own apartment!”
“House Mentors are helpful and caring when you need them!”
“I can freely talk to my house mentors about anything. we talk, we laugh, and we have the deepest conversations about who we are as people. Being able to talk to them is just phenomenal.”
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