This grant was used to help finance in a small way, phase two of the Somerset Home’s campaign. Phase two of this campaign is trying to raise the funds necessary to finance the fire suppression (sprinkler system), and also the work site for the youth shelter, which consists of constructing areas for volleyball, basketball, and a picnic grove, and improved parking area.
The Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children was created by a group of concerned citizens who began meeting in 1968. The goal of the organization was to care for homeless youth of all ages who were victims of fire, flood, and natural disaster. Today, it has three programs that are operated by the Somerset Home, that still are in keeping with the original goals of the Home. The programs are the Somerset Youth Shelter, the Pathways Life-Skills Education and Outreach Program, and the Passages Transitional Living program.
The Youth Center is a 16 bed coed residential home for the temporary care of adolescents, aged 13-17, who are abused, abandoned, neglected, or have run away from home due to maltreatment by their caretakers. Youth are referred to the program through community agencies and can walk-in and receive immediate crisis services of counseling, food, clothing, and if deemed necessary, shelter.
The Pathways-Outreach and Life Skills Education program consists of weekly workshops, weekend retreats, and special services. Clients are assisted in the following life-skills education areas: seeking and maintaining employment; obtaining a high school diploma; pursuit of higher education; financial responsibility; personal hygiene; health and nutrition; decision-making; problem solving’ time management; coping with independence; loss and grief; and responsible social and sexual behavior. In this program there is paid staff as well as volunteer mentors.
The volunteers are adults living in the community, who meet at least weekly with the youth to serve as role models and assist them in building a community-based support network before being discharged into the community.
The Passages Life-Skills Education program consists of two 5 bed group homes. The program helps prepare youth for their adjustment to adulthood through the provision of housing, supportive counseling, community-based agency referrals, and participation in the Pathways program.