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
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EIN 54-0899463
703 506-9191
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person 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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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.

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

dedicated and caring and did a great job!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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.

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

Young teens getting their lives back on track, teens learning to be good mothers and have happy children as well as the financial ability to provide.

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

Continue to do what is being done, support teens at risk in a variety of ways using all available resources.

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

Seeing the results - an unemployed high school dropout get her GED, a job, study, and obtain a college scholarship. The Board is also a wonderful group to work with, very involved and supportive.

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

Very engaged, helpful, and excited to be a part of something important.

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

Expand capacity for homeless teens, especially those 18-21 that can no longer stay in family shelters but are at risk being so young in an adult shelter. Also, demand for the young mothers is high and this gives them an alternative to abortion.

Ways to make it better...

Can't think of an improvement. The work is wonderful, good staff and well publicized results.

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

Constantly finding funding and trying to expand the programs to meet the needs, especially in today's economy where funds are dropping and demands are rising.

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

If you are opposed to abortion, the young mothers support is a wonderful way to lower abortions by providing teens with another alternative.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

 
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