The Emergency Youth Shelter is licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. The Shelter provides a safe environment for youth, eases family reunification, and finds alternative living environments for youth. Youth residing at the Shelter have different presenting problems. Some of them are runaways and homeless youth or experiencing severe family conflicts. Youth in custody of the State and those involved in the criminal justice system are also placed at the shelter for assessment or temporary care.
Services & Activities
Provide fresh homemade meals and snacks, as recommended by Registered Dietitian to help meet nutritional milestones
Provide clothing allowance upon admission and seasonal updates which include school uniforms, winter outerwear and warmer weather options
Provide residents with personal care and toiletries, age appropriate and gender specific
Initiate school enrollments for all residents and provide administrative oversight for special populations and residents with special needs
For runaway and homeless youth, placement in emergency shelter to assess their needs by offering safe and private space to sleep, transportation to medical appointments and assess most immediate needs.
For runaway and homeless youth, determine educational needs and refer for continuation of academic career as appropriate
For runaway and homeless youth, assist with enrollment in General Educational Development coursework programs and vocational training, if appropriate
Individual and Family Counseling
Offer Trauma Informed Care focused therapy by licensed professional counselor
Offer Individual Psychotherapy Sessions
Plan Interactive group sessions focusing on substance abuse prevention
Engage in Crisis Intervention Services, as appropriate
Offer Individual Trauma informed Care Counseling
Moderate resident support group meetings to promote sharing of shared experiences in an confidential environment
For runaway and homeless youth, provide counseling services to ensure youth accept services offered by program and streamline services needed for their success
For runaway and homeless youth, coordinate family meeting to identify root cause of homeless and determine if family is willing to participate in family counseling sessions
For runaway and homeless youth, coordinate group counseling sessions with peers who have also experienced runway episodes and acute/chronic homelessness
For runaway and homeless youth, facilitate conversations surrounding topics that may have contributed to runaway and homelessness, such as gender identity, sexual identity, substance abuse and domestic violence
Offer Shelter based curriculum designed to promote health and personal development. Topics covered during life skills training:
Peer pressure and refusal skills
Self-esteem and positive self-care
Educate residents on the development of life skills, which may include grocery shopping, meal preparation, use of local Transportation services and assignment of age-appropriate chores.
For runaway and homeless youth, educate on life-skills applicable to their circumstances and future goals
Plan supervised arts and crafts, reading, drawing, and the access to appropriate TV programming and music.
Promote weekly outings to local cinemas, bowling alley, Laredo Children’s museum, family entertainment centers , Lake Casa Blanca State Park and other places appropriate for children.
Encourage physical activity of all residents by offering on-site Basketball & Volleyball courts
Plan special Summer Activities for residents
Provide residents with access to preferred streaming video platforms (e.g., Netflix, Disney Plus, etc).
For runaway and homeless youth, encourage positive peer activities and interactions as they abstain from substance abuse
For runaway and homeless youth, foster positive peer relationships and development of support network in their own lives
Conduct Nurse screening within 24 hours of being admitted which identifies immediate medical needs and establishes baseline for resident’s health upon admission
Complete routine Medical Care upon admission, including Physical exam, Dental examination and care, and TB testing for school enrollments
Coordinate mental health services, including psychological evaluation, psychiatric evaluation and if needed, psychotropic medication administration
For runaway and homeless youth, refer to obstetrics and gynecological services for female residents
For runaway and homeless youth, refer to community sexual health clinic for education on safer sex practices and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Promote Ongoing collaboration with Department of Family and Protective Services, Court Appointment Special Advocates, Attorneys ad Litem for Children and other child welfare stakeholders
Completion of Individualized plan of service to address child’s unique needs and goals
Coordination and scheduling of medical appointments, school registration, family visits and court attendance.
Coordinate appropriate referrals to needed services, including Early Childhood Intervention, Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) services, Child and Parent Services (CAPS), Border Region Mental Health Services , Laredo Job Corps, transitional living program, and other community agencies
Coordinate referral to other interagency programs and services which aim to address identified resident’s needs
For runaway and homeless youth, administer UCLA Child/Adolescent PTSD Reaction Index (UCLA PTSD RI) which assesses trauma history and the full range of DSM-5 PTSD diagnostic criteria among adolescents.
For runaway and homeless youth, develop aftercare plans which may include referral to long term affordable housing, access to food stamp benefits, Texas Medicaid, and others