National Human Trafficking Awareness Month

It sounds like the plot from a terrifying Hollywood thriller; a young girl runs away in an act of defiance and then disappears for years. Only it’s not the next blockbuster, it’s the real story of a young girl we will call A.G. Like many teenagers, A.G. had a rocky home life. She struggled with authority and didn’t feel wanted or loved. A.G. began talking to men online, and it didn’t take long to find one who said he would take of her. So, at just 14 years old, she left for what she hoped would be a better life in a place – where she was appreciated. A.G. thought she’d met her prince. He was sweeter than anyone she’d ever met, and bought her anything she wanted. She was falling for him. But then it all changed. He told her she needed to earn her keep by taking a job in a strip club. He kept her money and kept her locked in the basement.

The Escape

A.G. made a run for it one night while working at the club, but the person she thought was going to help her ended up forcing her and another woman to live in a motel and work as prostitutes. Customers would “set up appointments” with her rescuer, who was now her pimp. One “customer” agreed to help her escape and take her to his house to be safe. But this was no safe haven. This man, who was twice her age, would not let her leave. He forced her to have sex with him and kicked her out when she became pregnant. A.G. was under 18 years old and had been missing for three years. She found a way to call her family and they brought her home. Her grandparents, who were her legal guardians, could not care for her and a baby. Fearing she would leave again, they reached out to YCC’s Residential Crisis Care program. A.G. stayed at YCC for two months while she received schooling, therapy services, extracurricular activities, a safe place to sleep and nutritious meals. After moving from YCC into a maternity group home, A.G. gave birth to a healthy baby and found the support and stability she needed to make it through her life changing events.

The Rescue

“In A.G.’s case, I think the best place for her is a facility with the appropriate resources to provide her support,” said Ashton Crawford, Residential Clinical Supervisor for the Youth Crisis Center in Duval County, Florida. “I believe if she had gone back to her guardians, she would have run away again, possibly even with her baby.” Crawford provides therapy to young people like A.G. who have experienced traumatic situations such as divorce, homelessness, relocation, loss of life and abuse. YCC provides a variety of services for children, adolescents, young adults and families, and is one of the largest and best-known providers of services for youth and families.

Crawford says a major issue therapists see in teens at risk for trafficking is significant feelings of abandonment, or feeling unloved or unwanted. Many times, this stems from parents who are substance abusers, or abuse and neglect their children. The risk is also higher in children who were abandoned by their biological parents and are being raised by another family member (not necessarily being adopted out). “It is important for parents or guardians to be significantly and positively involved in their children’s lives, monitor their social media usage, and teach them about the dangers of human trafficking in an age-appropriate way,” adds Crawford.

Human Trafficking In Northeast Florida

In 2017, Duval County ranked fifth in Florida for the number of cases involving commercially, sexually exploited children. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reported that 66 human trafficking victims were “identified and/or rescued” in 2017, marking a 50 percent increase over the previous year. Human trafficking is the world’s second-largest criminal enterprise after narcotics, generating $150 billion dollars each year.  

Crawford taught A.G. how to think positively and helped her work through the feelings that made her run away in the first place. A.G. now has a strong support system in place and Crawford feels she will find a path to a better life for herself and her child.

Are you dealing with a crisis or unmanageable youth? The Youth Crisis Center’s Residential Crisis Care program provides short-term residential services and therapy for youth ages 10-17. Our residential therapists work with youth and their families to address the immediate crisis and help provide long-term solutions to handle future concerns once the youth return home. Click to fill out the Residential Crisis Care form on our website and a therapist will contact you, or call our crisis hotline at (904) 725-6662 to speak with someone immediately. Click more to learn about 8 ways to help your child cope with stress and anxiety.

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8 Ways to Help Your Child Cope With Stress and Anxiety

National Homeless and Hunger Awareness Month

For many families, November is a month filled with Thanksgiving dinners, family gatherings and the kick-off of holiday shopping. Yet, for millions of other young people, their reality couldn’t be further from these festivities. The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that on any given night there are approximately 1.3 million homeless youth living unsupervised on the streets, in abandoned buildings, or with friends or strangers. National Homeless and Hunger Awareness Month, recognized in November, is an annual awareness event where people across the country draw attention to the problems of hunger and homelessness through educational, service, fundraising and advocacy events.

Homelessness and Hunger Go Hand in Hand

Unfortunately, homelessness and hunger go hand-in-hand for America’s youth. Every state in the country faces a flood of young people with no place to call home. Florida’s warmer climates prove to be an even bigger draw for young people on the move to find a safe haven. In 1974, former Jacksonville Councilwoman Gwen Yates founded the Transient Youth Center to provide a safe shelter space for runaway youth. She initially battled the stigma that runaway or homeless teenagers are troubled, damaged or dangerous. She and others prevailed to create a safe space that would become the model for the entire state. In 1982, the center was re-named the Youth Crisis Center. Over the next few decades, it shifted focus from solely serving “at-risk” youth to including their families that are also impacted by traumatic life events like drug use, domestic abuse, bullying, divorce or the loss of a parent or sibling.


Fast forward 43 years and YCC remains a steadfast leader in operating SAFE PLACE in Northeast Florida, the only national outreach program for at-risk kids in danger on our streets. There is currently an intense effort to expand the SAFE PLACE program because of the urgency regarding the rapid increase in child sex trafficking and additional risk for homeless LBGTQ youth. “The frightening speed at which sex trafficking is growing in our community has us connecting with current SAFE PLACE locations to make sure they are up-to-date on what it means to be a SAFE PLACE,” said Kim Sirdevan, YCC president and CEO. “We are also expanding our training to ensure we are aware of the signs of youth sex trafficking, as well as how to properly intervene when a youth is being trafficked.” Runaway, homeless, and young people trying to escape sex traffickers, can find immediate help by entering any location displaying a SAFE PLACE sign. The child at risk will be immediately connected to YCC and transported home or to the shelter.

House of Hope

The House of Hope is the next step for YCC to create a safe space for young adults 18-24 years old, who identify as LGBTQ, and are being stigmatized, discriminated against or are the targets of violence. “The YCC House of Hope will be a beacon to young people who have had the crushing experience of alienation from family support,” explained donor Delores Barr Weaver. “We need to embrace them so that they may gain the footing they need to be productive, good citizens in our community.” YCC is supported by a $100,000 fund-matching grant from the Delores Barr Weaver Fund to help launch the new, nine-bed House of Hope emergency homeless shelter.

Transformational Partnerships

Another challenge facing families and displaced children is hunger. In America, 1 in 6 children may not know where they will get their next meal. YCC partnered with Feeding Northeast Florida in 2018 to provide meals for children, families and young adults participating in several programs on its campus.  In 2017, YCC provided more than 22,302 meals just for the children in its Residential Crisis Care program.

By connecting millions of pounds of rescued food to a network of over 160 social service agencies and programs like YCC, City Rescue Mission, Sulzbacher Center and Salvation Army, these hunger-relief partners are able to provide not only food to those in need, but also services that can help these families and individuals end the cycle of poverty. Services might include programs like job training or placement, low-cost childcare, SNAP benefits, medical care, affordable housing and counseling. “As the region’s largest hunger-relief network, we are proud to forge this relationship with the Youth Crisis Center,” said Feeding Northeast Florida president and CEO Frank D. Castillo. “Through strategic partnerships like this one, we are collaboratively helping to transform our community.”


Are you concerned about relationship issues with your child or between family members? The Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to children as young as 3, as well as their families. Parents may receive individual and family counseling services regardless if their child is a YCC client. Click to learn more about 5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationship

National Runaway Prevention Month

A Teenager Acting Out

Senora Reynolds has a loud, bustling and energetic home with seven children. They range in age from toddlers to teenagers. The older kids help out, the smaller ones have their chores, and everyone has a role to get work done in this big, busy family. However, as Senora’s daughter, Senora Lee, turned 13, she started developing what Senora calls the “middle child syndrome”, which made for a challenging combination. “Over the summer of 2018, when my daughter turned into a teenager, she started acting out,” said Senora. “She was a borderline runaway; she was becoming defiant and didn’t want to come home.”

The Real Dangers for Runaways

Senora was terrified at the thought of her daughter running away and the dangers Senora Lee would face if she ended up on the streets or homeless. In a 2013 study, The Institute of Medicine stated that homelessness is the largest risk factor for the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) and sex trafficking of minors. Additionally, 48 percent of runaway and homeless youth who engaged in a commercial sex activity said they did it because they didn’t have a safe place to stay. During the course of one year, between 1.6-2.8 million youth run away from home.

YCC Provided a Time Out to Cool Off

Fearful that her daughter’s defiance would end up putting her in danger, Senora knew she had to put a stop to Senora Lee’s behavior. One night, when Senora Lee had come home late, they had a heated argument that ended in Senora calling the police. “They took her to the Youth Crisis Center, which was a good thing,” said Senora. “It gave us both time to cool off and make some decisions about how to handle the situation.” During her stay, Senora Lee received residential therapy, followed by outpatient therapy after she returned home. Her time at YCC let her know that no matter how bad she felt her situation was at home, she had a safe place to go for support. Senora says that helped her daughter put her situation in perspective and realize that an over-protective mom was better than a mom who wasn’t involved in her life at all.

Civil Citation Program

Senora says she is also grateful that the police took her daughter to YCC instead of a lock-down juvenile detention facility. YCC participates in the state’s Civil Citation program, which allows juveniles to stay at YCC and receive therapy services, instead of a having a criminal record.

Keeping the Lines of Communication Open

As a result of the services her daughter received, Senora has decided to utilize the outpatient therapy services YCC offers for families. She credits the therapists for making her feel comfortable about taking the entire family for therapy because they kept the lines of communication open even after Senora Lee returned home. Senora admitted a seven-child family can be stressful at times, so developing problem-solving skills and coping tools would be to the benefit of everyone. Senora Lee is about to turn 14, and her mom says things are a lot better because the family knows they have YCC to turn to if things get too tough to handle on their own.

Are you concerned about relationship issues with your child or between family members? The Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to children as young as 3, as well as their families. Parents may receive individual and family counseling services regardless if their child is a YCC client. Click to learn more about 5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

Navigating Relationships After a Cancer Diagnosis

Cancer is a very scary word, and when one person in the family has been diagnosed, it can feel like the entire family is facing the disease. When Robert* was first diagnosed in February 2009 with bone marrow cancer, his whole life came to a standstill. “I went from working 40+ hours each week and participating in extracurricular activities in my free time to not working at all and being bed-bound due to the horrific side effects from my treatments,” recalls Robert. “I had planned out my whole life, down to my retirement, but never thought to include a diagnosis and plan for cancer.”

Following any diagnosis, the next few months can be a whirlwind of medical treatments, hospitalizations, tests and side effects, which are often followed by feelings of depression, anger, anxiety and fear. “Those emotional responses to life-altering medical diagnoses are normal,” explains Youth Crisis Center’s Director of Program Services, Cecelia Stalnaker-Cauwenberghs, LMHC. “It’s important to develop a support system, not just for the patient, but for the entire family.”

For those facing a life-threatening illness, The American Cancer Society finds some of the most common emotional and physiological issues for their family members are:

  • Family and social isolation and/or conflict
  • Concern about the quality of life
  • Problems adjusting to illness or changes in care
  • Making decisions for future medical care (advance directives)
  • Grief

Robert says it was hard for him to reach out to family and friends because he was exhausted from his illness and the treatments. He didn’t have the energy and didn’t want them to see him looking physically ill. That can be very challenging for family and friends who want to help, but don’t know what to do when the person who is ill is pushing them away. “It’s beneficial for family members to be in therapy so they can also express their emotions/feelings and can work through them to find the best adjustments in the new situation,” advises Stalnaker-Cauwenberghs, LMHC. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach when you are going through something so personal. Everyone will react differently, but at the end of the day, we need to get everyone through this difficult time in as healthy a way as possible.”

A therapist can offer families the opportunity to share their feelings of loss, grief, sadness or fear in a safe and supportive environment. They can also provide referrals to resources in the community that assist with finances, transportation and caregiver respite. YCC identifies three top tips for emotional and mental stability when facing illness as a family:

  • Have the family participate in family counseling to help process the diagnosis. Work with a professional to develop an individualized plan for family needs.
  • Build a schedule and rotate caregiving shifts to help prevent burnout and minimize stress.
  • Don’t isolate yourself – this goes for the patient and the family members.

Robert says turning to friends and family for support did help him through this tough time. He also re-focused his fears to more productive avenues, like learning how to eat healthier and educating himself on what he could do to be an active participant in his healing and recovery process. He says he found a new respect for life’s preciousness and suggests considering the financial implications of these types of unexpected life experiences when making long term plans for yourself and your family.

*Name has been changed to protect privacy.

Are you concerned about relationship issues with your child or between family members? The Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to children as young as 3, as well as their families. Parents may receive individual and family counseling services regardless if their child is a YCC client. Click to learn more about 5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

Jax Journal Spotlights YCC

On October 27th Danielle Leigh from Jax Journal sat down with President and CEO Kim Sirdevan from the Youth Crisis Center. Take a listen as they discuss everything from crisis services offered by YCC to upcoming projects and how you can get involved. 

Founded in 1974 as Florida’s first runaway program, Youth Crisis Center has grown to one of the largest and best-known providers of services for youth and families. YCC’s emphasis on care is for those  who have been exposed to traumatic situations such as divorce, homelessness, relocation, loss of life, and abuse. YCC provides a variety of services for children, adolescents, young adults, and families.


The Connection Between Domestic Violence and Bullying

Could That Bully Actually Be a Victim of Domestic Violence?

As we mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month, along with Bullying Prevention Month, it’s the perfect time to examine the connection between domestic violence and bullying. Studies show that children exposed to violence at home tend to participate in higher levels of physical bullying than young people who were not witnesses to violent behavior.

Domestic Violence Can Influence Child Bullies

Researchers from the University of Washington and Indiana University were among the first in the country to focus their study on the association between children who witnessed their parents or caregivers behaving violently towards each other and that child’s likelihood to bully other kids. It also drilled down to look at the type of violence the child witnessed as compared to the tactics the child used while bullying others. For example, if a child witnessed hitting and pushing at home, did they, in turn, hit and push others?

Overall, the study found that 34 percent of the children studied engaged in bullying, and 73 percent reported being the victim of some form of bullying in the previous year. Sadly, most of the bullies – a whopping 97 percent – said they themselves had been victims of bullying. The study concluded that children learn behaviors from their biggest influencers, which, in the majority of cases, are their caregivers or parents.

Civil Citation Program

For youth that are the perpetrators in a domestic violence incident, the Department of Juvenile Justice Civil Citation program may be an option, depending on the severity of the case. This allows juveniles to stay at YCC’s Residential Crisis Care program and receive counseling services instead of going to a lock-down facility and having a criminal record. 

Adolescent Domestic Batterers Typology Tool

One tool YCC uses to gather more information about youth who batter their family members is the Adolescent Domestic Batterers Typology Tool (ADBTT). ADBTT helps provide a framework for developing appropriate goal/treatment plans and utilize appropriate treatment options based on the youth’s risk of future domestic violence incidents.  

Trauma Continues to Grow                                                                                                

The emotional and psychological injuries from domestic violence and bullying can have longer impacts than physical wounds. Ron Bertie, outpatient therapist at the Youth Crisis Center in Jacksonville, said he is seeing an increasing number of adult clients who have never addressed the childhood trauma they experienced from violence or bullying. “At YCC, we don’t just treat the child, we treat the entire family in order to address their relationship issues, emotional scars, or trauma from growing up,” explains Bertie. “When adults have families and children, it can bring up emotional wounds that haven’t healed and are now resurfacing and negatively impacting their current family unit.”

It’s important to seek help if you or a family member is struggling with the impact of violence or bullying. The Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program serves children ages 3 and up, including family members of any age. It provides counseling for a myriad of behavioral and mental health concerns through individual, family, group and couples counseling.

Outpatient Behavioral Health 

The program’s licensed mental health therapists and board-certified psychiatrists provide care for a variety of concerns, such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, behavioral issues and trauma. Individual, family and group therapy, psychiatric evaluations and medication management are provided onsite.

Warning signs of teenagers living with domestic abuse:

  • Poor grades, failing in school
  • Running away
  • Inability to express feelings
  • Property destruction
  • Violent outbursts

Warning signs of bullying:

  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Declining grades, loss interest of schoolwork
  • Self-destructive behaviors (e.g., hurting themselves, running away from home, talking about suicide)
  • Decreased self-esteem

Being aware of the symptoms and the developmental impact is a step toward advocacy and advancement in the treatment of children exposed to violence or bullying. If you recognize these symptoms, reach out to a mental health professional, a school counselor or someone in authority who can assist with addressing the problem. It’s time to stop the cycle of abuse for the health of everyone – at school, at home and at work.

Are you concerned about relationship issues with your child or between family members? The Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to children as young as 3, as well as their families. Parents may receive individual and family counseling services regardless if their child is a YCC client. Click to learn more about 5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships.

Download our FREE ebook!

5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

The Jim Moran Foundation Funds Critical Visual Arts Program for Youth

International Day of Non-Violence

Be a Peacemaker in a Conflict-Filled World

People complain about the evening news; it’s all bad news, there’s too much violence and it makes them feel helpless. It’s easy to see why. According to the Peace Alliance, 1.6 million deaths worldwide every year are the result of violence. It is one of the leading causes of death in every part of the world for people ages 15-44. These grim statistics also extend beyond the human cost. On average, the price tag for police, justice, corrections and the impact on productivity for homicide and robbery is $3,257 for each U.S. taxpayer, or $460 billion for the United States economy. 

Violence Is Preventable, Not Inevitable

There are plenty of education and self-defense classes to learn how to avoid being a victim, or what to do to fend off an attack, but the safest and most cost-effective approach is to prevent violence from happening in the first place. That may seem like a naïve wish, but there is growing evidence, according to The Prevent Institute (), that violence is “preventable, not inevitable”. Preventing violence is a critical health and cost issue for individuals, families and communities. 

International Day of Non-Violence

Recognizing the need for non-violence is at the heart of International Day of Non-Violence, marked each year on October 2, in honor of Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi led a non-violent civil disobedience movement and famously inspired non-violent movements for civil rights and freedom around the world. He is credited with saying, “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”

Four Steps to Control Conflict

To prevent conflict from turning violent, experts suggest four steps to employ clear, empathetic communication:

Observations – Approach a problem with the facts, not your opinion. People are more likely to find common ground over a fact versus someone’s opinion. For example, “It’s midnight and I can hear your partying is still going strong,” addresses the facts of the situation versus, “It’s way too late for you to be having such a loud party.” 

Feelings – Identify your feelings without being confrontational or judgmental. For example, “Your dog is not leashed; I’m scared of dogs and it’s making me nervous.” Also, try to avoid projecting your feelings onto someone else by assuming how they may be feeling.

Needs – When our needs or the needs of others are addressed, it makes people feel heard and important. It also provides a clear understanding of what someone is asking from the other person or the situation. For example, if you want more time with your friend or partner, you can address it by saying, “I see that you have some free time tonight; I would love to catch up.” This keeps the focus on your needs without accusation that the person is not making you a priority.

Requests – For clear communication, it’s important to be transparent in what is wanted from a person or a situation. Conflict can occur when people aren’t honest, make demands or fail to provide real options. Initiate requests in a way that accommodates discussion, like, “I’m not enjoying this show; would you mind if we watched something else? We can find something we will both like.” It’s important to allow the other person to say no or propose an alternative.

Promote a Message of Peace

It’s also important to keep in mind that even if you do all of the above, you may not always get the answer you want. Practicing non-violence depends heavily on personal responsibility, taking ownership of your own feelings and letting others own theirs without judgement or hostility. Finally, take some time to encourage others to do something peaceful on International Day of Non-Violence. Meditate, pray, volunteer, or read or watch something that promotes a message of peace. Creating and maintaining peace in your household is a start, where everyone can do their part in promoting peace.

Are you concerned about relationship issues with your child or between family members? The Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to children as young as 3, as well as their families. Parents may receive individual and family counseling services regardless if their child is a YCC client. Click to learn more about 5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Relationships

Youth Crisis Center Teams With Feeding Northeast Florida To Fight Childhood Obesity

The Youth Crisis Center (YCC) and Feeding Northeast Florida are teaming up to combat  obesity in Jacksonville’s children.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

About one in five children over six in the U.S. are considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Appearing on Thursday’s First Coast Connect, YCC Director of Strategic Partnerships Nina Lopez said many children are facing troubles that lead to poor dietary habits.

“In the clients we serve, children and families are dealing with common causes of obesity and this could stem from everything such as genetics, metabolism problems, environmental factors and what’s going on in the community in general, a lack of sleep maybe, bad eating habits and a lack of physical activities,” she said.

Feeding Northeast Florida CEO Frank Castillo said his group is working with YCC to help create a food pantry for at-risk children and their families with more healthy food options.

Many of the children live in so-called “food deserts” where healthy food options can be hard to come by.

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.

“Family Means Nobody Gets Left Behind or Forgotten.” – Lilo & Stitch

During her fifteen-plus years in the mental health field, Cecelia Stalnaker-Cauwenberghs, LMHC, has met her share of people who feel lost, sad or abandoned. As a licensed mental health counselor and current Director of Program Services at the Youth Crisis Center (YCC), she says those feelings can often be indicators of suicidal thoughts.

The Questionnaire of Concern

YCC requires young adults to fill out a questionnaire when they apply to its Touchstone Village transitional living program and one question asks if they know at least one adult or family member they could call in the middle of the night in case of emergency. Sadly, for most, the answer is no. Stalnaker-Cauwenberghs says when a young adult has no connections or support, there is an increased sense of loneliness and despair. She recalled one young man, named DD*, who came to Touchstone Village and made her very concerned about his potential for self-harm. (*Name has been changed.)

Afraid and Alone, A Worrisome Combination

Touchstone Village provides transitional living services to young adults ages 18-21 who may be homeless or in a variety of other situations which limit self-sufficiency. They have little-to-no family support and some have major mental health concerns, mostly stemming from traumatic events. “Often times, the family or friend support they do have is from someone who is taking advantage of them,” adds Stalnaker-Cauwenberghs. “We discuss and work through what a healthy relationship looks like.”

DD had just turned 18 when he arrived, afraid and alone. With his father incarcerated and his mother addicted to drugs, he’d been left with abusive grandparents, only to later be placed in roughly 30 foster or group homes. DD described himself as “anti-social” and “not having any friends”.  YCC’s mental health evaluations indicated he struggled with PTSD, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. These all contributed to a worrisome combination for Stalnaker-Cauwenberghs and her colleagues.

Digging Deep to Find the Brave in the Boy

At Touchstone Village, each resident has their own fully furnished efficiency-sized apartment and receives life skills, career development training, academic monitoring and support, and mental health services, if needed. The goal is to assist residents in developing skills necessary for self-sufficiency.

Upon entering Touchstone Village, DD remained reserved and cautious, isolating himself in his apartment. Stalnaker-Cauwenberghs and the team worked with him on both his life skills and social skills. They encouraged him to interact with other residents by playing air hockey, watching TV together and helping the group cook in the kitchen. DD began to show improvement with hygiene, keeping his room clean and increasing his social interactions. As his anxiety level decreased, he took college classes and held a part-time job. No one had ever taken DD for a professional haircut; so, as a reward, he got his hair styled. Stalnaker-Cauwenberghs says that was a big turning point in his self-confidence.

The Answer to the Question is YES!

Since coming to Touchstone Village, DD has been promoted to a shift leader role at his job, has a girlfriend, opened his first checking account, and now laughs and jokes with other residents. On his re-assessment questionnaire, DD answered “YES” that he did know someone he could call in the middle of the night. He responded that he is now part of a family that cares about each other. “He has a vision of himself as a successful adult,” boasts Stalnaker-Cauwenberghs. “It’s exciting to see him full of happiness and confidence.” Stalnaker-Cauwenberghs says knowing that DD has not just one person he can call, but a group of people he considers family makes her job fulfilling.  

If you know a young adult between the ages of 18-21 who is struggling to become self-reliant and independent, YCC can provide transitional living services through its Touchstone Village program. Click to learn more about Touchstone Village and the 5 Key Skills Young Adults Need to Successfully Live Independently.

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5 Key Skills Young Adults Need to Successfully Live Independently