The Anchor House Shelter is a safe place for youth and their families to address the issues surrounding the runaway or homeless incident and strengthen their relationships, or determine if an alternate placement is necessary. Services provided by Anchor House are designed to address the specific needs of the runaway and homeless youth population. Last calendar year 83 youth resided at the Shelter with an average length of stay of 12 days. The average age of the youth was 15 years of age and the majority, 54% were female. Mercer County youth represented 70% of the residents, with 59% of all youth from the city of Trenton. In addition to ensuring that Shelter residents remained in school or received lessons if from a distance, the School Outreach Program also provided 94 individual sessions to students in middle and high schools, in Trenton, Hamilton, Ewing and Hightstown.
The Anchorage Transitional Living Program provides long term transitional living services to homeless youth and youth who are aging out of the New Jersey child welfare system to ensure their successful transition to independence. While at the Anchorage, youth ages 18 through 21 have a safe, stable living environment and opportunities for life experiences, that allow them to succeed, fail and readjust until they are equipped to handle permanent living arrangements on their own. In 2016, 12 youth lived at the Anchorage, with an average stay of 154.5 days. Two youth had stays over two years, and three youths had stays over one year. All youth obtained employment at some time during their stay.
Anchor Line Supportive Housing Program serves male and female youth 18 -21 years of age, who are aging out of New Jersey’s child welfare system and homeless youth ages 18-21, that are eligible for services under the NJ Homeless Youth Act, and need supported housing services to successfully transition to adulthood. Anchor Line has two apartments currently located in Trenton above the Anchor House Street Outreach Center.
Anchor Link Street Outreach Program works directly with at risk and homeless youth living on the streets providing crisis intervention, individual and group counseling, employment and educational assistance and referrals. This year 5,172 brief contacts were made on the street, or at the Drop In Center on South Broad Street. Survival aids including blankets, hats and gloves, food, hygiene and health items were distributed to youth. A total of 1142 survival aids including blankets, hats, gloves, food, hygiene and health items were distributed to youth. Counselors conducted 273 life skills sessions and we had 510 walk ins to the drop in center. An increasing number of youth took advantage of the bathing and laundry facilities as well as the computers, to write resumes, apply for jobs and search for housing.
The Connecting Youth Program helps youth ages 14-17 build a support system so they can have life-long connections within the community. The program helps youth find family or people they consider as family, as well as mentors to help them transition into adulthood. Youth receive assistance in high school; help with finding employment, career planning services as well as assistance applying to a college or vocational school.