RHYA funding allows Bill Wilson Center to provide thousands of nights of safe sleep for hundreds of runaway and homeless youth in Silicon Valley along with thousands of youth and family counseling sessions and support services.
BWC’s Crisis Residential Center, our Quetzal House for chronic runaway girls and our Maternity Transitional Living Program each benefits from RHYA’s support.
Near Santa Clara University, BWC’s Crisis Residential Center provides short-term shelter for homeless and runaway youth ages 11-17. A typical day in the shelter includes family-style meals that the youth help prepare each day, assigned chores, school, family and individual counseling sessions, and workshops. For many of the youth in our shelter, it is the first time that they feel safe, that they matter and that they have within them what it takes to succeed in life.
Last year the Crisis Residential Center helped 87% of its youth be reunited with their family or a stable placement.
Not far away, BWC’s Maternity Transitional Living Program provides a safe and supportive environment for homeless pregnant and parenting youth ages 18-21. Staff members serve as role models – consistent, safe and knowledgeable adults who advocate and provide emotional support for them as they develop birth plans and attend classes about their pregnancy, infant care and delivery. One young mother used the skills she learned while in the program to land a job at eBay and is able to provide a safe and stable life for her daughter, ending the cycle of homelessness.
Three mothers who lived in the program at the same time went on to college and became phlebotomists working at agencies like the American Red Cross and Camino Medical Group. They continue their lives like sisters … often studying together, providing emotional support to each other and even baby-sitting each other’s children when needed.
Down the road from Google, BWC’s Quetzal House is a stable and nurturing environment for girls ages 13-17 who are chronic runaways from the foster care system. At Quetzal House, girls receive the counseling, support and life skills training they need to feel safe, supported and successful in transitioning to longer term placements. One of BWC’s Guiding Principles … “No Fail” … in which we believe that everyone can be successful and we keep trying is brought to life at Quetzal House.
“I’m thankful for a lot of things and one is Bill Wilson Center and Quetzal House. Because when I had nowhere to go, they were there for me. I learned a lot from here and will continue to do so,” says Gail. “I also thank God for inventing this place because I now have a place to stay and I have a roof over my head and food on the table. I think that staff are great. They taught me how to use my coping skills, and how to be a teenager.”
RHYA and Bill Wilson Center, make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of Silicon Valley’s homeless and runaway youth.