Studies have shown that within four years of emancipation from foster care, 24% of young adults have been homeless. YWCA Greater Cleveland’s response to this data resulted in the creation of Independence Place, which offers permanent supportive housing with 23 apartments (one-third accommodating children).
This Trauma-Informed System of Care model focuses on increasing self-sufficiency of the individuals and families residing in Independence Place and helping them to live their best life. Under the guidance of a Life Coach, tenants are supported in their pursuit of the goals they identify, including permanent housing and educational opportunities, career development, learning the importance of physical and mental health care, and developing life and parenting skills.
In the past seven years, approximately 50 people have left Independence Place and are living in the community. More than 80% have maintained their housing and are thriving.
Community NIA (Nurturing Independence and Aspirations)
Tenants who move out into the community are offered continued support through a Case Manager. This role is designed to help tenants to continue to maintain their housing and support them in ways the tenants themselves identify as areas of need. The Case Manager continues to support the participants in increasing self-sufficiency and their goals.
Both Independence Place and Community NIA receive clinical oversight from the Clinical Director, assisting staff and participants with managing mental health issues and connecting them to related resources. A variety of program opportunities are offered to Independence Place tenants and Community NIA participants, including art therapy, dinner and discussion nights lead by community organizations, community outings, a food pantry, and access to additional programming offered within the YWCA, including enrollment of their child into the Early Learning and participation in the Opportunity Passport and the Parent Café and its resources.