Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development

Young Adult Program (YAP)  

The Young Adult Program is an independent living program for homeless youth ages 16 to 18. The program accepts up to 15 youth, male or female, including pregnant or parenting mothers. Each youth resides in their own unit in our 16 unit apartment building. Our staff is on the premises in unit #1, providing support and structure 24 hours a day. The apartment living model has a powerful impact on young people, teaching them to deal with loneliness, care for their own space and practice the day to day activities and responsibilities of independent living.

All youth are tested upon entrance into the program on their independent living skill knowledge. A treatment plan is developed with the youth and counselor to address areas where they are lacking. The plan usually also includes working on educational goals such as high school diploma programs, GED study or vocational schools. Our Job Developer also assists the youth in obtaining employment. Once they are employed, they must put 60% of their earnings into a savings account.

Our staff provides individual and group counseling sessions and skills development. Some of the subjects include:

      Budgeting                                 Hygiene & nutrition

      Apartment hunting                     Transportation

      Pre & Post employment skills    Finding & keeping a job

      Parenting skills                          Community support services (i.e.: AHCCCS)

      Linkage to support groups (i.e.: AA)

YAP residents are placed on a behavior management system that allows them to earn increasing independence as they demonstrate competence in basic skill areas. All residents eat together at first, cooking, cleaning and getting to know each other under staff supervision. As they progress through the program they are encouraged to shop for themselves and cook in their own apartments. Youth can stay in the program anywhere from a few months to a year as they gain employment, build a savings account and develop and practice their newly acquired skills.