PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Youth Haven on Burrowes St. Gives Teens A Chance To Rebound

If you weren’t aware that there’s a homeless/runaway shelter for teens in Centre County, you’re certainly not alone.

The Burrowes Street Youth Haven, located on S. Burrowes Street, is easy to miss if you’re not paying close attention, as it appears more like a home than a shelter from the street. However, in its eight-year existence, the Haven has been able to help countless teens by providing residential care and counseling services. The three-story shelter is able to house four at a time, with the potential for two more in emergency situations. In addition, there’s a kitchen, living room, and activities room to create a more home environment for the kids.

The mission of the Haven is simple enough: It ensures that any kids between 12 and 17 years old experiencing family issues, homelessness, or any other crisis have a safe and supportive place to stay for a short period of time. The max amount of time that anyone can stay at the home is 21 days, as there’s a strong emphasis on keeping the kids with their families. However, that doesn’t mean that all contact is cut off after 21 days.

“We’re in contact with the kids for as long as they need help,” said Bob French, the program supervisor and 2011 Penn State graduate.

While at the home, the kids are on a routine that sets times for homework, chores, and even dinner. This is done to mimic home life as much as possible as well as to keep the kids involved.

“Dinner is usually a big event that keeps the kids involved,” said French. “We like to replicate that sitting down and eating together and just talking about things.”

However, a lot of emphasis is also placed on non-residential services, such as family and individual counseling to help the kids return to their families. Family counseling is often extremely helpful, as it forces families to get together and work out problems with the help of a counselor.

“It’s all about building relationships,” said program director Vanessa Baronner. “It’s just having someone be there to coordinate a conversation with the family.”

In terms of outreach, the Project Safe Place initiative has really helped raise awareness about the Haven throughout the community. Basically, the Project Safe Place initiative designates 25 spots and shops around Centre County where kids can go to if they need any sort of help. Once the kids have identified that they need help, the stores will contact the Haven, who can handle the situation from there.

This increased outreach has led to a lot of involvement from both churches and groups from Penn State alike, which often hold lunches, dinners, and parties for the Haven. In addition, a lot of supplies like food and hygiene products are donated, which prevents any unnecessary costs.

“People are always trying to help, which is really good,” noted French.

So while the work may be hard at times, the community involvement in Centre County is enough to make a positive change on many kids’ lives.

“It’s a great place to be for families in need,” said French.

Added Baronner, “The work can be tough, but there’s never a dull moment.”

About the Author

Greg Schlosser

Greg is a senior majoring in energy engineering at Penn State. He is a big fan of Pittsburgh sports and sandwiches with coleslaw and french fries. You can email him at [email protected] or find him at the Phyrst drunkenly requesting the band to play "One Headlight."

Comments

More by Greg

Make The Most Of Happy Valley: Greg Schlosser’s Senior Column

They say there are three inevitable certainties in life: Death, Taxes, and Graduation. Or at least I think that’s the saying, anyways.

Penn State Football Selects 2015 Leadership Council

Peter and Ann Tombros Offer Donation To Improve Basketball Facilities

Athletics

North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend