host homes

Arbor Circle’s Host Home Program is designed to address the housing needs of youth experiencing homelessness by connecting them with caring adults who are willing to provide safe housing and support. This community and volunteer-based approach is available to youth ages 16-18 who are seeking to increase stability in their housing in Kent or Ottawa County. Email our Housing Coordinator to learn more and attend an info session.

young people experiencing homelessness in West Michigan every day

Why become a host?

The experience of homelessness can be a traumatic one and can have a ripple effect into other areas of an individual’s life, including their work and education. Youth on the streets are more likely to be trafficked, exploited, assaulted or coerced by predators, experience unplanned pregnancy, lack access to medical and mental health care, and lack the necessary food and shelter to survive. We believe that youth benefit from living with adult allies through the host home model. Safe and stable housing with positive adult relationships is the beginning of addressing larger life-shaping issues.

How you can help

Becoming a host is a powerful and unique experience, and far from being easy. The commitment host volunteers make is an intense one, and no less intense than that of a youth who is moving into a host home. Arbor Circle strives to make the hosting process empowering and gratifying for both the youth and the host.

Great host homes are committed to:

  • Caring deeply about the well-being of youth in their community
  • Providing housing and food support for youth in their home until the youth achieves their housing goal
  • Partnering with youth, case managers and mental health providers to address youth-identified goals

To become a host home volunteer

  • You must be 25 years of age or older
  • You may be of any race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation
  • You may be single, married, divorced or living with a partner
  • You must have lived in West Michigan for at least one year
  • You must be able to provide a private bedroom for youth
  • Your home must be safe and in good repair
  • You must be willing all adults in your home to undergo complete background checks

Training & ongoing support

Host Home Volunteers complete a comprehensive training and receive ongoing support from the program Housing Coordinator, as well as regular Host Volunteer Support Groups.

Learn more

Learn more about becoming a Host Home Volunteer by contacting Arbor Circle’s Housing Coordinator at (616) 451-3001 or emailing our housing coordinator.

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