WAIT House started in 1998 when a group of community leaders came together to address the growing issue of youth homelessness in upstate New York’s Warren and Washington Counties. After five years of fundraising and countless volunteer hours, WAIT House opened in December 2003. A residence was generously donated and renovated into an 8-bed co-ed Emergency Shelter Program (ESP) licensed to serve youth ages 16-21 for up to 60 days.
ESP quickly became an asset for the community and was frequently operating at capacity. In 2007, to meet the growing needs of pregnant and parenting youth WAIT House received a grant to purchase the house next door which was a near mirror image of the ESP shelter. A three-year renovation followed to connect the two houses via a two-story addition. In July 2010, WAIT House opened its second homeless youth shelter, a Transitional Living Program (TLP) where young pregnant and parenting teens ages 16-21 could live for up to 24 months with their children.
In 2020, WAIT House received approval to expand the age range of youth it serves from 16-21 to 16-24 years of age. This has allowed more young people to receive housing at WAIT House and has been particularly important for TLP which was seeing young mothers age out before completing their 24-month programs.
To date, WAIT House’s ESP has provided over 29,000 bed nights and services to over 1,700 homeless youth and their families. WAIT House’s TLP has provided shelter (over 31,500 bed nights) and services to nearly 200 pregnant and parenting youth and over 120 of their dependents.
In addition to our residential programs, WAIT House operates a Street Outreach program which offers support and services to homeless youth and those at-risk of homelessness, Care Management Services to at-risk youth and their families, Housing Assistance Programs for families and individuals of all ages and an Anti-Trafficking Program.