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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Family Services for Adolescent Parents, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Shelters, Youth Development Programs

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

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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...