Youth experiencing a housing crisis are particularly vulnerable to victimization and exploitation. Even in the safest shelters, youth will become exposed to a very street-involved peer group. That is why even one night spent in shelter, drastically increases a youth’s risk of chronic homelessness. With shelter beds constantly full and housing options unaffordable, young people are often in unsuitable accommodations where they are at higher risk of experiencing abuse.

Nightstop is an alternative to shelter that adopts a preventative approach to homelessness by intervening at an early stage of crisis in order to help youth secure safe temporary housing, avoiding the shelter system or sleeping “rough” on the streets.

The program engages the community to act as “Hosts” for young people who have nowhere else to go and who have successfully passed a thorough risk assessment.

Community members help prevent that first night in shelter by offering a spare room and meals for short-term stays. Hosts and youth continue to be supported by DYS staff every step of the way.

Family reintegration is the primary goal when home is a safe option. When that is not possible we work to support the youth in developing and achieving an alternative housing plan.

For more information on becoming a Nightstop volunteer click here or email