In Youth Service, Inc. Spotlights, we aim to recognize clients who have overcome their hardships to find success through our programming. In this post, we are highlighting our Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) program. RHY is a voluntary service for youth ages 12 to 17 who have run away from home or who are uncomfortable with their current living situation and need support. The program provides them with short-term emergency shelter and helps them work with their family to resolve conflicts through mediation, support for family reunification, and advocacy for youth. The program also offers resources for healthy relationships, education, and physical health.

A 17-year-old young man arrived to the RHY program seeking shelter after he had been couch surfing for several weeks. His mother informed him that he was to leave the home after they had gotten into a verbal altercation. The young man was carrying a heavy emotional burden due to the emotional abusive he endured from his mother.

The major challenge faced by the staff at YSI was getting him and his mother the help needed to rebuild their relationship. Staff members had several individual sessions with the young man to teach him new coping mechanisms and communication skills to use with his mother. YSI was able to organize a family session with the young man and his mother, which allowed for them both to be able to express themselves in a safe and supportive environment. During these sessions it was revealed that the mother had experienced trauma in the past which she admitted she hadn’t dealt with in a constructive manner and often took out her own frustrations on her son. 

After the family session,the young man returned home to his mother. YSI staff was able to connect them to the agency’s Family Empowerment Services program for additional supports. The young man recently reported back to YSI staff that his relationship with his mother has never been better.

To learn more about Youth Service, Inc.’s RHY program please visit :