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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

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

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, homeless youth, and after school and summer enrichment programs, so kids have meals, counseling and a safe place to grow and thrive. All of the programs stress life skills, job skills, conflict resolution, health and nutrition, etc. in an effort to break the cycles of poverty and abuse. It's a great organization run by very competent and caring people.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I began volunteering nearly 20 years ago and served on the Board. And as a former Board President, my experience was one of gratitude for the wonderful works that the Staff and other Volunteers do to help the many lives of the children Alternative House serves.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Alternative House is a wonderful nonprofit that supports teens in various ways related to homelessness, including a teen homeless shelter, a teen center, neighborhood outreach to at-risk youth, and a long term shelter for pregnant teens. The attitude of the staff is so supportive and the feedback from the teens is wonderful. Many of them get their GEDs, get a job, learn to budget, deal with issues better, and some even going on to college. It is a strong blend of Federal, County, Corporate, and Individual funding.