Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs

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New York State issues operating certificates to four models of Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) programs. Each is responsive to a different set of needs. For more information about any of these program types, please contact

To learn about the programs that operate in each county, please selected a highlighted county from the map below or use the drop down menu to select a county. Whether or not they have certified programs, all counties have information on local services.

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Program Models

Crisis Services Programs

RHY crisis services programs provide temporary shelter to runaway youth who are either under age 18 or between the ages of 16-21, or up to 25 in some municipalities. The goal of residential RHY crisis services programs is to support a safe reunification of a youth to their guardians, when appropriate. There are two types of Crisis Services Programs:

Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter
Often referred to as ‘crisis shelters’ or ‘youth shelters,’ these programs offer short-term, emergency housing for up to 20 youth. In general, youth can stay in these programs for up to 30 days, but in some circumstances as long as 120 days.
Interim Family Program
Interim Family Homes provide short-term emergency shelter up to two youth in the home of an individual or family with extra space to share. Homes can offer shelter to youth until their 21st birthday, or up to a youth’s 25th birthday in some municipalities. Interim Family Homes are inspected and supervised by Interim Family Programs that are licensed by OCFS. Interim Family Programs are local agencies with expertise in RHY needs and development. They ensure safe and appropriate living conditions for the youth that stay in the Interim Family Homes they support.

Transitional Independent Living Support Program (TILP)

TILPs are residential programs that provide longer-term housing to homeless youth between the ages of 16-21, or up to 25 in some municipalities. These programs are designed to support homeless youth progress from crisis to independent living. There are two types of TILPs:

Supported Residence
Supported residences provide an environment that resembles independent living (generally an apartment) for a maximum of five homeless youth who are between 16 and 21 years of age, up to 25 in some municipalities, and of the same gender.
Group Residence
Group residences 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, or up to 25 in some municipalities.