Read about how Spectrum Youth and Family Services has expanded service and programs, leasing three apartments to youth at risk for homelessness and offering the Compass program to youth in need for Franklin and Grand Isle Counties by Josh Ellerbrock from the Saint Albans Messenger on February 9, 2023.
FRANKLIN COUNTY — Spectrum has expanded services in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, leasing three apartments to youth at risk for homelessness and offering the Compass program to youth in need.
Two years ago, Spectrum opened a drop-in center in St. Albans for youth ages 14-24. Today, up to almost 400 individual young people have accessed the center.
“The number of youth in St. Albans utilizing Spectrum and how frequently they show up for drop-in has far exceeded my expectations,” said Mark Redmond, executive director of Spectrum. “By expanding our programs here, we can make an even bigger impact on youth.”
In September, Spectrum provided three youth with fully furnished, one-bedroom apartments in St. Albans owned by Chittenden Housing Trust. These housing opportunities placed youth aging out of foster care or that would otherwise be homeless in secure housing for one year.
Spectrum will also continue to provide case management and other support services to these youth to help ensure their successful transition to independent living.
Most recently, the Vermont Department for Children and Families selected Spectrum to offer the Compass Program in Franklin and Grand Isle counties. Compass is a free-of-charge program providing prevention and stabilization services to youth ages 12 – 23 in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.
Eligible youth can be justice-involved, have DCF involvement, considered homeless, have run away from home, pregnant, parenting, or experiencing transition age problems.
Compass offers individualized treatment plans, individual and family meetings, clinical interventions, case management support, coordinated care across agencies, and access to 24/7 crisis support.
“For the past four years, we have seen the positive impact the Compass Program has had in Chittenden County,” said Alicia Cerasoli, Director of Compass Program at Spectrum. “I am thrilled we are now able to do the same for young people in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.”
Expanding these two programs to St. Albans rounds out Spectrum’s Youth Development Program already in place. The Youth Development Program helps youth in or aging out of state custody transition to a self-sufficient and thriving adulthood by working with them to set and accomplish goals around such areas as education, work, housing, mental and physical health, and support systems.