The St. Vincent de Paul Youth House will provide rent-free housing and social services to 13 homeless teen girls.
The goal is to help them complete their education and prepare them to live independently and successfully as adults.
The SVDP Youth House is a collaborative project involving St. Vincent de Paul, Hosea Youth Services, Directions Service, the 15th Night community movement, NEDCO, the cities of Eugene and Springfield, Housing and Urban Development, FOOD for Lane County and the Eugene, Bethel and Springfield school districts. Hosea will manage day-to-day operations at the youth house, and Directions will coordinate educational and health-related services for residents. FOOD for Lane County will provide food as well as nutrition education and cooking classes.
Eugene, Bethel and Springfield school district officials estimate there are more than 400 unaccompanied homeless students enrolled in local high schools, and those teens are at extreme risk of dropping out of school. Hundreds more have left school and are living on the streets where they are vulnerable to violence, drugs, sexual abuse and human trafficking along the I-5 corridor.
“Thanks to extraordinary and unwavering support from the community, we’ve completed this project in a remarkably short period of time,” said Terry McDonald, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul. “We provided an opportunity for the public to help build a bridge to a new future for homeless teens, and people responded with overwhelming generosity.”
The Youth House will accept its first residents later this month. The house includes 14 apartments, a large community space, kitchen, laundry, counseling office and computer lab. A resident manager will live on-site, and a full-time casework services manager will help youth connect to social services and work with students to create individualized life plans.