Office of Children and Family Services

The Office of Youth and Young Adult Services

Runaway and Homeless Youth Program Descriptions

Youth and young adults who are living on the streets or who do not have consistent, stable housing are highly vulnerable. Homelessness is not just a problem in cities; young people in suburban and rural communities also face homelessness. They are often trying to escape neglect, abuse, and conflict in their homes.

There are several types of RHY facilities: runaway and homeless youth crisis service programs, interim family home, group residence and supported residence.

  • Runaway youth means a person under the age of 18 years who is absent from his or her legal residence without the consent of his or her parent, legal guardian, or custodian.
  • Homeless youth means a person under the age of 21 who is in need of services and is without a place of shelter where supervision and care are available.

1. Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter

This type of facility provides temporary shelter to a maximum of 20 youth, all of whom are either under the age of 18 years or between the ages of 16 and 21. The maximum length of stay at a runaway and homeless youth shelter is 30 days. The length of stay may be extended for an additional 30 days, or longer, under certain circumstances.

2. Interim Family Home

An interim family is a person or persons who provide temporary shelter in their home, known as an interim family home, to a maximum of two runaway or homeless youth who are under the age of 21 years, as part of an interim family program. An interim family program is an authorized agency which operates a program to provide support services to runaway and homeless youth and to arrange for the temporary shelter of such youth through the sponsorship, inspection and supervision of interim family homes. To qualify to provide services in an interim family home, individuals must be:

  • at least 21 years of age;
  • able to provide a safe and supportive environment and to understand the needs of runaway and homeless youth; and
  • sponsored by an interim family program to provide shelter to youth.

3. Transitional Independent Living Support Program (TILP)

A TILP residential facility is intended to provide support services for an initial period of up to 18 months to enable homeless youth who are between the ages of 16 and 21 years to progress from crisis care and transitional care to independent living.

a) Supported Residence

This type of TILP is a residential facility that is intended to provide an environment that resembles independent living for a maximum of five homeless youth who are between 16 and 21 years of age of the same gender.

b) Group Residence

This type of TILP is a residential facility that is intended to provide an environment that encourages the development and practice of independent living skills for a maximum of 20 homeless youth who are between the ages of 16 and 21 years.

Please send an email to Bureau of Vulnerable Populations at ocfs.sm.RHYA@ocfs.ny.gov if you have any questions.

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