Nonprofit Spotlight: Eddy House announces expansion projects for 2020

We at Eddy House are proud to announce our expansion projects for 2020!

In early May, Eddy House opened its respite care center in collaboration with Washoe County Social Services. This program serves kids between the ages of 7 and 17, giving them a safe place to live and continue therapeutic services.

Specifically, this project aids youth in the Foster Care system who have been impacted by COVID. The emergency respite team of Eddy House allows them to keep moving forward in a safe space.

On June 1st, we added 25 beds to our transitional housing program to better serve our youth in the community. This beautiful project offers short term housing on a sliding fee scale as young people are actively working. This component is a part of the step-down transition back to true independence.

Our latest addition to our family of services is Casa de Vida. Casa de Vida is a long-standing nonprofit serving pregnant young women in our community and a welcomed addition to the Eddy House family.

While some teens facing a crisis pregnancy have the support of a loving family, many others are less fortunate. We are pressing hard to better serve these young people in need, those in transition, and those that are homeless. Eddy House keeps in mind that with the right tools and support, 85% will never become homeless as adults.

The Voices of Youth Count from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago also found that:

  • One in 10 young adults ages 18-25, and at least one in 30 adolescents ages 13-17, experience some form of homelessness unaccompanied by a parent or guardian over the course of a year.
  • 29% of homeless youth report having substance misuse problems.
  • 69% of homeless youth report mental health problems.
  • 33% had once been part of the foster care system.
  • 50% of homeless youth have been in the juvenile justice system, in jail or detention.
  • 27% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth who are homeless reported exchanging sex for basic needs compared to 9% of non-LGBTQ youth who reported having to exchange sex for basic needs.
  • The lack of a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) is the number one correlate for elevated risk of youth homelessness.

Causes of homelessness among youth fall into three inter-related categories: family problems, economic problems, and residential instability.

Many homeless youth leave home after years of physical and sexual abuse, strained relationships, addiction of a family member, and parental neglect.

Disruptive family conditions are the principal reason that young people leave home: in one study, more than half of the youth interviewed during shelter stays reported that their parents either told them to leave or knew they were leaving and did not care (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (a), 1995).

In another study, 46% of runaway and homeless youth had been physically abused and 17% were forced into unwanted sexual activity by a family or household member (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (c), 1997).

Some youth may become homeless when their families suffer financial crises resulting from lack of affordable housing, limited employment opportunities, insufficient wages, no medical insurance, or inadequate welfare benefits.

These youth become homeless with their families, but are later separated from them by shelter, transitional housing, or child welfare policies.

Residential instability also contributes to homelessness among youth. A history of foster care correlates with becoming homeless at an earlier age and remaining homeless for a longer period of time.

Some youth living in residential or institutional placements become homeless upon discharge — they are too old for foster care but are discharged with no housing or income support.

One national study reported that more than one in five youth who arrived at shelters came directly from foster care, and that more than one in four had been in foster care in the previous year (National Association of Social Workers).

We are super excited to report that even as COVID has had an impact around the world, 98% of our current residents are working in full-time positions.

We are doing our best to maintain all the safety protocols while moving forward with getting our youth the lives they deserve. We understand that the issues of youth homelessness are complex, therefore our services are stepping up to meet the need.

We cannot end Youth Homelessness alone. Please let us know if you would like to get involved. You, right alongside us can change lives today and tomorrow.


Diaz Dixon, MA, is CEO of Eddy House. Plumas Bank sponsors this content.


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