Second Story-- the Abused and Homeless Children's Refuge
The vision of Second Story is of a community in which all young people are safe, live in a nurturing environment and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Founded in 1972 as “Alternative House,” Second Story transforms the lives of children and youth, helping them stay safe, make positive decisions, achieve educational success, and overcome personal crises. We offer children, youth and families hope for brighter futures by providing counseling, shelter and neighborhood-based support.
We are a Second Story for Teens in Crisis. We step in at the critical moments when young people can make the most life-altering decisions or mistakes, and we provide minute-by-minute support and guidance to keep them moving toward positive outcomes. We help them write their second story.
Our teen shelter offers a safe haven to young people in crisis, at no cost to young people or their families. When a young person has nowhere to turn, our door is always open. We are here for teens when home doesn’t feel safe. We welcome teens who have run away, been kicked out of their home, are homeless, have been abused, have been traumatized, or are otherwise in crisis.
The shelter is a completely voluntary program for young people 13 to 17 years old. In addition to safe shelter, food and clothing, each teen receives intensive individual, group and family counseling and help keeping up with their education. Young people may stay for up to three weeks at a time, as staff and counselors help them plan their next step and write their second story.
We are The Second Story for Young Mothers. The Program provides housing, counseling and training to homeless women age 16 to 24 who are pregnant or have young children. We put an emphasis on parenting skills, completing an education, job readiness, and basic self-sufficiency so that young women will be able to support themselves and their children, breaking the cycle of poverty, abuse, or homelessness.
We are a Second Story for Homeless Youth. Program helps homeless high school students and youth with housing and case management so that they can get to their graduation day. In a typical year, more than 80 percent of the young people in our program are able to meet their employment goals and almost 90 percent meet their education goals. Using a combination of host homes, rental assistance, rapid re-housing, and a house in Vienna, the program housed 41 young people and offered case management to 55 young people in 2016. Of our high school seniors, 100 percent graduated in 2016. The program helps young people transition through host homes and rent assistance. Host homes, provided by families and community members in a stable living situation, provide a sense of consistency to a young person’s life. Young people who are transitioning to independence must work or go to school at least 30 hours a week and create a savings account so that they can live independently once they graduate from the program. Rapid re-housing is a prevention program to help young people in danger of becoming homeless, who must move quickly into a new situation.
We are a Second Story in the Community. We operate neighborhood-based drop-in centers, offering a safe, relaxed setting for family-oriented, on-site programs, resources, activities and classes to strengthen families in their communities. In our programs, young people are accessing our computers and getting help with their homework, enjoying art programs, and getting a meal. They are talking to staff who know their names and their families and care about who they are. Their families get access to a free clinic, language classes, legal and consultation services, food donations, and a caring community Currently, Second Story offers community based programs serving the communities of Culmore, Annandale, and Springfield. We operate Family Resource Centers, Safe Youth Projects, and a Teen Center.