Each year, more than 3 million children experience the horror of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, resulting in serious trauma that can impact virtually every aspect of their lives as they mature into adults. Because of this, a number of traumatized youth enter adulthood lacking in necessary job skills for gainful employment and find themselves on the street without a home. Third Way Center seeks to break the cycle of homelessness as a result of childhood and adolescent trauma by engaging the residents and their families in the process of treatment.
Without beginning the process of healing, they are unlikely to be able to move past their trauma. The residents at Third Way Center are our most vulnerable children. They come to us from a variety of backgrounds, including foster homes, psychiatric hospitalizations, other treatment centers, and detention facilities, many of which attempt to change or punish adolescents’ behavior rather than treat its underlying causes. Since each Third Way Center resident has their own unique story, we strive to accommodate their individual needs by focusing on the skills that are most necessary for them to learn. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching vital job skills, Third Way Center works with each resident to create a plan for acquiring the tools that are most necessary for their future success.
Our Voc-Ed team performs job skill assessments to determine each resident’s strengths in order to zero in on areas where further instruction is beneficial. Additionally, youth in the Vocational & Independent Living Skills program receive resume writing and interview skill development instruction to improve and increase their marketability and chances of securing employment. With the guidance of the Voc-Ed team, residents are able to obtain both paid and volunteer positions in the workforce in order to gain practical, hands-on experience.
The Independent Living Skills component of the program teaches teens and young adults basic concepts that can help them achieve independence and take care of their basic needs. Therapists and mental health counselors provide guidance with everyday tasks such as grocery shopping, food storage, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other essential life skills. Through guided instruction and real-world practice, teens and adults in the Vocational & Independent Living Skills program can gain the necessary experience they need to confidently live on their own. Traumatized youth learn the essential life and job skills they will need to live on their own once they exit our program. By educating teens and young adults in various aspects of independent living, we can help reduce the risk of homelessness and provide them with an opportunity to make a brighter future for themselves.