Capacity Builders started the program after getting federal grant

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FARMINGTON — A Farmington nonprofit organization is looking for host families for a new program targeted at helping homeless and runaway youth in the area.

Capacity Builders, Inc. announced WE GOT THIS, a runaway and homeless transitional living program for youth between 16 and 22-years-old, according to Project Manager Frances Hampton.

The program is looking for host families with the ability to house up to three youth who are looking to make a successful transition to self-sufficient living.

"We hope to tap into families who are willing to open their hearts as well as their homes to a very vulnerable population in the community," Hampton said.

The $190,812 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was awarded last year.

The five-year grant is funded to provide services for up to 48 youth a year.

The original idea for the program was to locate four families each with room for three youth and have one bed held open for emergency housing.

Hampton believes there is remote chance of finding a household that has three open beds. She is willing to work with a host family that could house one or two youth.

"Finding host families has been difficult, " Hampton said.

Capacity Builders hopes getting the word about the program will generate interest in potential host families. There are about five youth awaiting host families.

Kenny Pin, executive director of Capacity Builders, said WE GOT THIS is a program that no other local agency offers.

He added staff from area nonprofits were excited to hear about a program to help those between the ages of 16 to 22-years-old, and pregnant youth.

The program will help provide the youth in need with referrals to services to help them get on their feet and to find and identify their goals. It will also provide basic life skills resources along with counseling and outreach plans.

"The goal is to give them the skills and confidence to become participating, contributing members of the community," Hampton said.

Some of the goals could include reenrolling in school, earning a high school equivalency certificate and training to pursue higher education.

The host families and youth will be screened and trained as part of the program. A small stipend will be provided per night, per youth.

The residence must pass a S.A.F.E (Structured Assessment Family Evaluation) home inspection.

Background checks will be performed on host families, and those in the program 18-years-old or older if the host family has minors living in the residence.

Hampton hopes that a host family that has compassion and concern for the youth in our community will make room in their home to take care of someone in need.

Those looking for more information can contact Hampton at 505-326-4245, extension 146, or visit the Capacity Builders' office at 418 W. Broadway Ave. in Farmington.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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