The Chelsea Foyer at the Christopher is a transitional housing program for youth aging out of foster care and youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Launched in 2004 as partnership between Common Ground Community and Good Shepherd Services, the Chelsea Foyer at the Christopher has served 165 young people between the ages of 18-25, providing up to two years of transitional housing in conjunction with a rigorous, developmentally-appropriate program designed to prepare young people for self-sufficiency upon discharge.
When the Chelsea Foyer at the Christopher was launched in 2004 the needs of this population were beginning to be recognized. Now, the 18-to-25-year range is increasingly understood as an important developmental stage in which young people who have experienced great challenges can be positioned for lifetime employment and self-sufficiency instead of reliance of public assistance and chronic risk of homelessness. Programs across the country are exploring new housing models and best practices to address the problem of youth homelessness. However, this national conversation requires Federal participation and a national policy on youth is needed to elevate public understanding of this issue and underscore the benefits and cost savings of addressing the needs of these young people so they can lead productive, independent lives.
This report aims to provide perspectives to facilitate this conversation. A general overview of lessons learned is offered in the final section -- Section V. The history of the development of the Chelsea Foyer at the Christopher, financing of the building and lessons on use of space and partnership development can be found in Section I. The program and practice lessons on working with this population are described in Section II. Funding and costs for the program are outlined in Section III. A review of current data is presented in section IV.