Refugees Northwest Foster Care is now seeking Host Homes to offer affordable, stable housing to more independent youth over age 18. While our primary need is always for more licensed foster homes, hosting is an alternative way you can get involved that may be a better fit for you. Read on to learn more or click here to download our Host Home Basics pdf!
Who are the youth seeking Host Homes?
Host homes are needed for young people ages 18-21. Youth arrive to our program from all over the world, most recently from countries like Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Myanmar (Burma). They typically have lived in a foster or group home with Refugees Northwest for at least a year before they are ready to transition into a more independent setting.
Why are Host Homes needed?
This age is the natural point for youth to seek greater independence and our program’s goal is to assist them in reaching this goal successfully. As young people and newcomers to our community, it is challenging to find affordable housing options while attending school or before they have had an opportunity to build the necessary work or rental history to rent on their own.
Hosts can also provide a reliable, safe adult connection, which is a key indicator in positive outcomes for youth in foster care. Some youth may be fully prepared to live on their own and only seek an affordable rental, but many would additionally benefit from mentorship, guidance, and support while learning to navigate the systems in the U.S.
What does a Host Home need to provide?
Homes and the living arrangements agreed upon between the youth and host can vary to meet each parties’ individual needs. This could mean a separate mother-in-law apartment or a bedroom with shared household meals. Most youth are seeking housing in King County near their schools and jobs. Given the high cost of housing in the Seattle area, we ask that host homes offer youth below market rent ($500 or less per month).
What is Refugees Northwest’s role?
Refugees Northwest continues to provide the same foster care benefits to youth living in host homes, including an assigned Social Worker and Independent Living Case Manager, a monthly living stipend, and health coverage. Refugees Northwest staff are here to help hosts and youth build and maintain a positive relationship and connect with available resources.
How do I sign up?
The first step is submitting a Host Home Application to be placed on our list of potential available host homes. When/if there is a potential youth match, you would be asked to complete an interview, background checks, personal references, and a home safety inspection prior to meeting a youth. Refugees Northwest staff will assist you and the youth in determining if you are a good match for each other and if so, in developing a rental agreement.
Contact us today to learn more about becoming a Host Home and to request a Host Home Application!