Growing up is challenging enough without having to worry about where you’re going to sleep at night. Adolescent homelessness is an issue that effects many young people nationwide, some of which have no knowledge of the resources available to them. GBCA’s Program for Homeless Adolescents Seeking an Environment of Stability (PHASES) is a New Jersey State licensed supportive transitional living program for homeless adolescents ages 16-21. Youth residents stay in the program on an average of 18 months, as long as they are in school or working in order to become self-sufficient.
Individual case plans are developed for each resident based on their family relationships, education, health, financial status and their end goals. David Ventimiglia, a case manager for the PHASES program, says that the situations and end goals varies from resident to resident, with some similarities. “At the end of the day, they’re all typical kids,” David explained. “They want to save their money, get their high school diploma, get their driver’s license and get a job.”
Residents are provided nutritional services and given opportunities to develop and practice life skills through attending financial literacy workshops, cooking classes, and more, all which assist in their journey to independence. They are also referred to additional resources within GBCA such as the High School Equivalency Program to work towards finishing a high school education or Financial and Housing Counseling to learn about money management and how they can work towards an independent living situation.
David meets with the residents frequently to discuss their aspirations and the necessary steps needed to get there. He talks with them about the obstacles they face and what route they can take to overcome those difficulties. David’s goal is to keep the residents on track with their progress and provide them with support throughout their journey so that they succeed in life beyond the program. Ultimately, the goal of PHASES is to provide a smooth transition for the youth back in their communities as productive, capable, functioning members.
For more information about PHASES, visit our website at www.greaterbergen.org or call (201) 488-5100.