What to Expect as a Family Member


Shaw House offers different forms of support to young people facing homelessness, from case management services to family mediation.

Our services include:

  • An assessment of the young person’s needs
  • Connections to necessary resources (medication, medical care, education, clothing, food, shelter)
  • Development of a personalized 21-day plan
  • On going support to support housed youth.

We recognize the importance of involving family members in the process whenever possible – with the agreement of the youth, we typically schedule a family team meeting shortly after the young person arrives to identify resources and support from loved ones. We understand that past conversations with your child may have become difficult or challenged. Our goal is to provide a safe and supportive environment for open and honest communication and help the young person achieve stability and secure safe housing.

We know that many unhoused young people have faced past trauma or are currently dealing with difficult challenges in their lives. We are able to provide links to professional support services in the community that can help address specific needs and experiences. We can also help youth and families get connected with resources, like family counseling, or support groups or crisis services or other supports that may help find a path forward and prevent a youth from being unhoused.

Please contact Shaw House if you’d like more information. We can talk with you directly about your situation by phone or in person – whatever is most comfortable, and help to connect you with resources.

Requesting Access

If you are seeking shelter access on behalf of your child, and the child is their own guardian, we will need to speak to your child directly.

Our youth shelter provides emergency access to safe space for youth between the ages of 10 and 20 who are fleeing violence, currently homeless or at risk for homeless.  If you are considering requesting access to the shelter for your minor child, please be aware that if any of the following is true, Shaw House is likely not appropriate:

  • You are in need of respite care for your child.
  • You are seeking out of home placement for your child.
  • You are pursuing residential or other intensive treatment for your child.
  • Your child is awaiting discharge from a facility.
  • You, or a member of your household is refusing your child access to the family home.
  • You, or a member of your household is engaging in “tough love” or similar activities to exclude your child from your home, and are unable to identify an alternative safe place for them to be.
  • You are unable to provide adequate care for your child.
  • Your child is refusing other safe options that are willing to provide shelter and help meet their basic needs.

If any of the above are true for you and your child’s situation, please call 211, or DHHS at 1-800-452-1999.

Shelter is a safe place, but it’s not a permanent place, and it’s not the best place.  Youth receiving services through our day program or shelter are free to come and go as they want.  You will be notified each night if your child signs into the shelter, and if they leave the shelter during the night.

While we do hold their meds to keep them safe, youth are responsible for dispensing and taking their own medications at the prescribed time.

Finding the best place is the work that we will need to do together. The primary goal will be for your child to return home.  If your child accesses a bed at the shelter, we will ask you to:

  • Continue serving as guardian of your child, making all decisions regarding their well-being
  • Attend team meetings and mediation activities
  • Provide assistance with appointments
  • Maintain daily contact with your child and Shaw House
  • Maintain communication with all members of your child’s team, including signing releases for other providers