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.
Who are the youth seeking Host Homes?
Host homes are needed for young people ages 18-20. Youth arrive to our program from all over the world, most recently from counties such as Afghanistan, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and Ghana. They typically have lived in a foster home 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 extremely 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.
Host homes provide reliable, safe, and affordable housing, which are all key indicators of success for foster youth.
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 range from a separate mother-in-law apartment, or a bedroom with shared household meals. Most youth are seeking housing in King County near their schools or jobs. Given the high cost of housing in the Seattle area, we ask that host homes offer youth below market rent ($400 or less per month, including utilities).
What is Refugees Northwest’s role?
Refugees Northwest staff match youth and potential host homes, facilitate introductions, and meet with youth and host homes to develop a rental agreement and set shared expectations for the living arrangement. A Family Support Specialist is available as a point person for host homes on an ongoing basis. Youth continue to receive all foster care benefits, including an assigned Social Worker and Independent Living Case Manager, a monthly living stipend, and health coverage.
What is required to become a host home?
Host homes complete an application and screening process with Refugees Northwest prior to meeting youth. This includes an application form, interview, background checks, personal references, and a home safety inspection.
How do I get started?
The first step to becoming a host home is to attend an Info Session. At this virtual event you will learn more about our program, the host home option, and the details of the application, approval, matching, and post-match process. There will be time for your questions, too. Info Sessions are typically held on the first Tuesday of the month at 5:30 PM. To find out when our next Info Session is being held, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Ready to learn more? Contact our program at email@example.com!