Youth Shelters & Family Services (YSFS) delivers life-changing solutions to homeless, runaway and in-crisis youth in Northern New Mexico. We provide shelter and address health, safety, education and workforce opportunities so they can achieve lifetime independence. The agency was founded in 1980 by members of the Santa Fe community. We are located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and have six distinctive programs: Youth Emergency Shelter, Transitional Living Program, Street Outreach Program, Rapid Rehousing Program, Community Counseling Center, and Pregnant and Parenting Initiative.
Youth Emergency Shelter (YES). The agency was concerned that youth in crisis who needed shelter had no alternative but to go to the Juvenile Detention Center. These youth, who were often escaping abusive homes, were being punished when they needed support. La Otra Puerta Emergency Youth Shelter—“the other door”—opened next to the Juvenile Detention Center as a nurturing alternative. The Shelter was a safe haven and temporary place for youth to stay while volunteers worked to reunite families whenever possible. In 2003, the shelter moved into a new building at 5686A Agua Fria Street where it remains today serving those 10-17 years of age.
Transitional Living Program (TLP). In 1990, a Transitional Living Program was established to provide a residential setting for youth, ages 17-22, who were unable to live at home. The program teaches life skills such as education, resume building, and financial literacy. TLP is a dorm type residence with constant adult supervision for those 17-22 years of age. A modern campus was built in 2009 at 4435 Airport Road and houses 14 youth.
Rapid Rehousing Program (STAR). Supportive housing for youth needing fewer services was launched in 2013 at scattered sites in the community. In 2016, we transitioned from scattered sites to a rapid rehousing program called STAR (Supportive Transitions to Adulthood through Rehousing). STAR helps youth 18 to 24 years of age experiencing homelessness or fleeing domestic violence, find and secure housing in their own name. The support from our program lasts up to 24 months. Supportive services are available for participants. The Santa Fe program is administered at 1570 Pacheco Street Unit B6. The Sandoval location is at 4011 Barbara Loop, Suite 202, Rio Rancho and the McKinley location is at 100 W Hill Ave, Gallup.
Street Outreach Program (SOP). In 1995, a community needs assessment indicated there were hundreds of homeless young people in Santa Fe, often without adequate food or clothing, and frequently subject to illness and abuse. YSFS began its Street Outreach Program later that year by distributing sandwiches, clothing, tents, sleeping bags, hygiene items, and resource information to youth on the streets. It also opened a Drop-In Center, where youth can obtain food, take a shower, use computers, and call family and friends. This program is located at 1570 Pacheco Street Unit B6. Staff provide the supportive services homeless youth need to leave the streets.
Community Counseling Center. Through a nonprofit merger in 1996, YSFS began providing counseling to youth and families in crisis. Today, the Community Counseling Center serves children, youth and families who are homeless, nearly homeless, or otherwise in crisis. Professional counseling is available to youth in every program, their family, and community members. This service is located at 5686B Agua Fria St.
Pregnant and Parenting Youth Initiative. This program was launched in 2006 to address a growing incidence of homeless pregnant and parenting teens. The Pregnant and Parenting Youth Service Coordinator works with groups and individuals in each of our programs providing education, food, housing, employment, diapers and supplies and early childhood services.
In addition to our six programs, we have other services available to assist homeless youth in need. These programs are our Cold Weather Shelter established in 2017, Food Pantry established in 2018, our Prevention Diversion and Crisis Housing established in 2019, and our LGBTQ+ Youth Assistance established in 2021.