Safe Place for Youth: Nonprofit runs 'host home' program to house young people

It’s an unconventional, maybe even an uncomfortable idea, of trying to deal with the seemingly insurmountable problem of homelessness.  

If you have a spare bedroom, an open mind, and a willingness to help, why don't you offer temporary shelter for someone trying to rebuild their life? That’s the basic concept behind the "host home" program run by a Southern California nonprofit called "Safe Place for Youth."       

Their mission, as you can read about online, is to ‘’empower young people’’ by providing "community driven solutions."

One of the ways they do this is by trying to facilitate matches between young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who are on the street, in a shelter or without a permanent place to live, with homeowners who have the space for about 6 months. There’s screening, training and a payment to the homeowner.   

The young person receives help from a case manager for whatever they need; schooling, job training, permanent housing placement or counseling.    

To be honest, it’s a bit of a tough sell, but the time I spent with homeowner Suzi and her new tenant, 21-year-old Mikhi, showed me it could definitely work.   

Obviously, this isn’t for everyone, and the stereotype of the person living on the street or at least without a permanent residence is certainly off-putting to some, but you have to dig a little deeper and realize there are so many who could benefit from a helping hand, a connection with a stable adult, with their own room, a bathroom, privacy, someone who believes in them and is offering them a better way.  

If you’re interested, I know they’d love to hear from you. The best email address is