Purpose and History

After continuing to listen to the needs of young people, Center on Halsted approved a Youth Housing Strategy composed of implementing two goals. The first is for Center on Halsted to operate a cluster site housing program for youth from the existing Youth Program, developing a model to be replicated across multiple neighborhoods in Chicago. The second, and subsequent, is for Center on Halsted to have a new Youth Intentional Permanent Housing building in operation, housing LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness with wrap-around services, in a supportive community.

Center on Halsted is proud to announce it has launched its cluster site housing program in the spring of 2016, begun housing initial residents, and is continuing to accept applications as the program expands.

Who is eligible for Center on Halsted’s Youth Housing Initiative?

Eligible residents are LGBTQ+ youth, aged 18 to 24 experiencing another youth-specific indicator of vulnerability, such as trauma history or disability, who are currently enrolled in the Center on Halsted Youth Program and are experiencing homelessness.

How are residents chosen?

Eligible individuals are invited to apply to fill out a simple application at Center on Halsted after initial criterial outlined above. Upon meeting criteria and after applications are submitted, selection for the number of open units is determined randomly. After a selection cycle, applicants not selected are added to a waitlist in the order they were selected randomly.

What makes this program innovative?

Center on Halsted conducted over two years of research to inform its strategic direction. Charrettes were convened with funders, issue experts, service providers, potential partner agencies, and at-risk young people themselves.

Unlike other models, youth can enter into the program through the 25th birthday and are eligible for two years of residency through age 27. Eligible individuals are invited to apply and upon meeting criteria, selection is determined randomly and a waitlist established thereafter.

The program offers wrap-around case-management services, and optional, needs-based clinical support provided by Center on Halsted Youth Program Staff. Residents will transition out of the units based on their individual needs and plans, but approximately in two to five years.

To reach communities Center on Halsted is not yet serving, the organization is partnering with Teen Living Programs, whose programs target youth experiencing homelessness on the South Side of Chicago. The partnership allows both organizations to fill gaps in service. With initial collaboration, Center on Halsted will provide integral LGBTQ-competent Behavioral Health Services, case management, and job readiness training for vulnerable young people. In return, Teen Living Programs will help expand the core of the Youth Program’s Patrons and the reach and presence of the program on Chicago’s south side.

Who can I reach out to for more information?

For more information regarding directing youth to apply for the program, please reach out to Constance Mitchell, Youth Housing Manager, at

For media inquiries, please reach out to

For material and monetary donations, please reach out to Michael Anderson, Chief Development Officer, at

Looking to help? Please visit our Youth Registry at Target to learn more about which items are needed to furnish our housing units.

Youth Registry

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