For Drew, years of hidden abuse left him with a dark idea of home and an unwillingness to trust anyone at all. In his interview to become a member of the house, he challenged, “If my family and the people I’m close to will mistreat me—what can I expect from you, a total stranger?”

When he first came to Journey Place, he blew off the program, ignored every house rule, and often bragged he wouldn’t last than 2 or 3 months at the most. When you complimented his progress in an area, he would immediately start doing the opposite. He rebelled against staff, against schooling, against finding a job.

A year-and-a-half later, Drew has a new perspective. He slowly began to see how the structure of the program began to make an impact in his daily life. “There was something about having my own key,” Drew explains now. “I began to really see this as MY home. It wasn’t just another stop—it was MY home. I was safe, I started to understand that I could depend on people more than I thought I could, and that I was in the driver’s seat. I could figure this out and make something of my life.”

Drew completed his GED and we recently got word that he has found a seasonal job where he will gain valuable first-time job experience. From the moment Drew started at Journey Place, the key was in his hands.

Journey Place is a specialized program for young adults males 18-21 who are aging our of foster care and need assistance making the transition from foster care to being an independent adult due to unmet education, employment, or social needs. The framework for Journey Place is the RENEW (Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education, and Work) model.  Residents are given the opportunity to practice the required independent living skills necessary to be successful adults while in a safe and supportive environment.


How Journey Place differs from other programs

  • Potential Residents must complete a residential application
  • Potential Residents must be interviewed and accepted by interview panel consisting of at least one current resident
  • Residents must be employed or enrolled in school within three months of
  • admission
  • Residents have a key to “their home” and separate entrance
  • Residents live as roommates and must work with each other to shop for groceries, cook, clean, etc.
  • Access to On Ramp Resource Center supports and activities

Why it Works

Journey Place is a home for 6 young adults who live together in an environment similar to a college dormitory.  Residents have a level of independence, and personal responsibility for their own success unlike any other program designed for young adults.  Residents have immediate support from Program Mentors who work to teach daily independent living skills, as well as a Transition Specialist who serves as the case manager to work on individual goal setting and completion.  Residents are expected to demonstrate success within the following domains: Education and/or Employment, Health and Safety, and Community Life Functioning.  At the time of discharge, successful residents should be prepared to transition to a permanent independent housing option.

The Relatives began partnering with National Safe Place in 1988 to create a local network of businesses, public resources, churches, schools, and transportation services, who were willing to post Safe Place signs throughout our community to identify themselves as a place to get help for kids in crisis. Any child or teen can ask for help at these locations and be connected to The Relatives Crisis Center free of charge. Our Safe Place program allows The Relatives to expand its reach to more youth in the community and allow businesses to help this on going effort.