Our House is a residential facility that provides transitional sheltering for youth who are struggling with homelessness.
BCFS’ Our House transitional living home provides young men living in the Abilene community who are struggling with homelessness with a safe, stable living environment. The young adults living in the home receive transitional services from staff and community partners at BCFS’ Abilene Transition Center. These services include:
- Assistance completing secondary education
- Applying for college
- Locating stable employment
- Learning valuable life skills
The services provided help these young adults break the cycle of homelessness and become successful independent adults. Additionally, while living in the house, the residents learn to share in communal responsibilities, from general cleaning and preparing weekly house dinners to service projects benefiting the local neighborhood. This instills a sense of resident responsibility and ownership in Our House. The basis for Our House is to help youth grow to better manage their finances, health and hygiene, as well as develop adult social skills to more quickly become independent, responsible, contributing adult members of the community.
In 2010, BCFS Health and Human Services and the Christian Community Development Corporation (CCDC) began working together to address homelessness in the Abilene Community. According to the Abilene ISD Homeless Liaison, the number of homeless youth in Abilene was expected to surpass 900. In the first semester of school alone, 750 youth were already identified as homeless. Nationally, there are few or no shelters in rural communities, so many of these youth are living with relatives, friends, or living on the streets.