Emergency Youth Shelter


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


Basic Care

  • 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


Life Skills

  • Offer Shelter based curriculum designed to promote health and personal development. Topics covered during life skills training:
    • Decision skills
    • Peer pressure and refusal skills
    • Self-esteem and positive self-care
  • Money management
  • 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


Recreational Activities

  • 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)


Case Management

  • 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

More Information

Contact Us

Don't hesitate to contact us

For more information, please complete the following form

Program Coordinator: Cynthia Vasquez
Phone: +1 (956) 725 7211