Alternative House

Rating: 5 stars   13 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Homeless & Housing

Location: PO Box 694 Dunn Loring VA 22027 USA

Mission: Abused and homeless young people deserve brighter futures. Alternative House - The Abused and Homeless Children's Refuge helps children and youth achieve this by providing shelter, food, and counseling to abused, homeless and at-risk young people. Beginning as a small runaway shelter for teenagers in 1972, Alternative House - The Abused and Homeless Children's Refuge has evolved into a system of services designed to respond to the changing needs of today's young people. We provide food, clothing, therapy and in some cases, shelter at our Emergency Shelter for Teenagers, the Assisting Young Mothers (AYM) program for pregnant and parenting teenage mothers and their babies, neighborhood based outreach at our Family Resource Centers in Culmore and Springfield, after-school programs for at-risk children in Culmore and Annandale, a drop in Teen Center, and more.
Target demographics: abused, homeless, and at-risk young people and their families.
Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 2,670 runaway, homeless, abused and at-risk young people receive services
Geographic areas served: Fairfax County, VA
Programs: The Emergency Shelter for Teenagers—a 3-week crisis shelter for youth 13 to 17 years old. 24-hour crisis hotline 1-800-SAY-TEEN that is affiliated with the National Runaway Switchboard. Assisting Young Mothers—a transitional living program for homeless young women 16 to 24 years old who are pregnant or have small children. The Homeless Youth Initiative—provides housing, case management and counseling to homeless Fairfax County students who do not have the support of a parent or guardian. Community Based Services—neighborhood outreach designed to bring services to at-risk youth and families, including: The Culmore Youth Outreach Program at the Culmore Teen Center. The Culmore and Annandale Safe Youth Projects, after-school programs for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. Alternative House offers a myriad of supportive services, including walk-in crisis counseling, family therapy, information and referral, community education, etc. All programs and services come at no cost

Write a Review

See How 3Hrs Can Help

Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Filter Reviews by Role

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Alternative House transforms the lives of children and youth helping them stay safe, make positive decisions, achieve educational success, and overcome personal crises. They offer children and families hope for brighter futures by providing counseling, shelter and neighborhood-based support. I became involved with this Charity both in giving my time and donations as I was very impressed with the many different ways they help youth. All aspects of Alternative House are outstanding from the wonderful staff and volunteers, the programs, the facilities and the care and difference that they make in many people's lives.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I recently joined the board of this organization, mainly because I was so impressed with what they do for the children in our community. The organization has an outstanding exective director and staff that is dedicated to helping young people in need get back on their feet.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I attended the annual breakfast and listened to the young people who have had their lives touched by Alternative House. It was powerful to hear their stories.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If resources were available, expand its programs across more of northern Virginia.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Alternative House for two years, both as a volunteer and a Board member. In my volunteer capacity, I worked with the teens being housed at the shelter and attended the facilitated groups helping to improve their coping skills. The staff is knowledgeable, compassionate and skilled. I am also a mentor for homeless teens at one of our youth homes, and found this program to be invaluable for those individuals who were dedicated to getting their high school degrees but had nowhere to live -- this gave them safe shelter, and the peace of mind to concentrate on their educations. Alternative House provides multiple fantastic programs. The administrative staff and Board of Directors is excellent, and the budgetary discipline is exemplary. I highly recommend this program.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many ways -- children who have gotten back on track, reunited with their families, discovered different ways of living, finished their high school degrees...all good programs.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add more staff

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The Alternative House is known in the Northern Virginia area as the abused and homeless children's refuge. It is the only local area emergency shelter for teens and youths. But the Alternative House does so much more. It also runs a separate program that provides housing and shelter to young mothers (its Assisting Young Mothers program). Additionally, it runs a hotline, after school programs, counseling, and numerous other community outreach efforts.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have met with young mothers who are living at AYM houses(Assisting Young Mothers). They are working hard, raising their children, working, and training. They are able to do this because they receive housing and shelter through the Alternative House.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it bigger to meet the growing need for shelter and housing in these trying times.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Alternative House, the abused and homeless children's refuge, is a fantastic organization, helping hundreds of at risk youth in Northern Virginia each year. In addition to the emergency shelter, they have special programs for young mothers and after school and summer enrichment programs, so kids have meals, counseling and safe outlets year round. Everyone should know of their great work in the community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

countless ways.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have worked with AH for the past two years, and found it to be an extremely well-run organization providing services critical to teens in trouble. The staff is excellent and caring, the executive team knowledgeable, compassionate and efficient, and the volunteers willing and ready to help. I continue to work with them because our young people need a place to go when they're in trouble, and this one offers the help and understanding they need. I wish they had more funding to expand!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching my students grow and become independent, going to school, getting jobs, and feeling great about themselves!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Now that my children have gotten older, I am in need of loving babies. The time that I have spent rocking babies and reading to toddlers has been very rewarding. Giving of your time and resources to charities outside of our area is great, but to give back locally is the best. I find myself thinking of these children and young mothers alot. I like to bring something little for the kids most weeks. Crayons, puzzles, and maybe matchbox cars. I don't feel like I am just putting my time in. I hope that I am giving as much as I am getting from the hour and a half every week.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunity to spend time with the children, especially the babies, and watch them change and thrive in a loving environment.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

have been warm, caring and selfless.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

It is amazing one of the most fulfilling things I have done in my life to know I have helped make a child's life different.. Be it thru cleaning, cooking or just answering a phone! It all helps! The Counselor's and Staff at Alternative House are amazing and go above and beyond to help children/teens in need! I love it here and could not think of a better place to Volunteer at! I hope everyone get's a chance to give back in life...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Knowing that the Teens/Kids that come here are SAFE!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

NOTHING they are doing everything right!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing the difference such lil things do in shaping a Teen/Child's life

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

AMAZING

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

DO so much more to help in our Area...

Ways to make it better...

NOTHING it is AMAZING

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

DONATIONS/Help/MONEY

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

My experience with Alternative House began with being selected as their graphic design intern in 2006. While there, I had the opportunity to witness the everyday workings of a nonprofit group. Not only was I able to create a poster promoting their important services at local schools, I was able to interact personally with the shelter's clients and gain a broader perspective of their work. In fact, I part of my poster assignment was to incorporate a way for those interested to be able to take a physical card from the poster with the shelter's information on it. I was stumped as to how I could attach a container of business cards to my poster. After consulting with some of the shelter's clients, one young lady had the idea of making a lower portion of the poster pull tabs -- and it worked! Since graduating, I have returned home to Kansas City, but continue to service their design needs. I am so happy to be connected to the causes Alternative House promotes.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

witnessing, firsthand, what their services include and how much those services are valued by those who receive them.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Alternative House, it's staff and it's volunteers, provides such an incredible support to homeless, runaway, abused teens in our area. I find the work done there allows these teens to stay in school, become productive, not to follow a cycle they were once in. From doing some volunteer work in the shelter, I see how hard everyone works to make this place a safe shelter. It is very hard to put into words the awe I feel of these individuals and the work that they do.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

compassionate and educated. I felt that the staff were always involved in the day to day running of the shelter and AYM. And that the volunteers that I met there were excited to be there, to help in any way.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

Was this review helpful?