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Transitional Living Program Fact Sheet

Published: October 16, 2015

FYSB Mission

Photograph of two young women looking at books together.To support the organizations and communities that work every day to put an end to youth homelessness, adolescent pregnancy and domestic violence.

FYSB Vision

A future in which all our nation’s youth, individuals and families—no matter what challenges they may face—can live healthy, productive, violence-free lives.


The intent of the FYSB-funded Transitional Living Program is to provide a safety net and strong emotional support system for young people to transition into self-sufficiency.

FYSB’s Transitional Living Program provides long-term residential services to homeless youth ages 16 to 22. Services are provided for up to 540 days, or in exceptional circumstances, up to 635 days. Young people who have not yet turned 18 after 635 days may stay in a program until their 18th birthday.

Transitional living programs helped nearly 3,000 homeless youth transition to life on their own in FY 2014.


Services offered through the Transitional Living Program are designed to help young people who are homeless make a successful transition to self-sufficient living. Grantees are required to offer the following services, either directly or by referral:

Extended residential shelter

  • Group homes
  • Maternity group homes
  • Host family homes
  • Supervised apartments

Service coordination plan

  • Referral of homeless youth to social services, law enforcement, educational services, vocational training, welfare, legal services, health care programs, affordable child care, and/or child education programs

Transitional living plan

  • Transition plan from supervised participation to indepen-dent living or another appropriate living arrangement

Basic life skills resources and counseling service

  • Money management, budgeting, consumer education, use of credit
  • Parenting skills (Maternity Group Homes program only)
  • Interpersonal skill-building
  • Educational advancement
  • Job attainment skills
  • Mental and physical health care
  • Individual and/or group counseling and parent/child counseling

Outreach plans

FYSB also requires grantees to incorporate elements of Positive Youth Development, which suggests that the best way to prevent risky behavior is to help young people achieve their full potential. Youth development strategies focus on leadership, skill-building, and community involvement.


Thousands of young people run away or are forced to leave their homes each year. Since 1975, the Federal Government has funded emergency shelter programs for runaway and homeless youth to provide for their immediate needs and promote family reunification. Unfortunately, many homeless young people can’t go home.

In response to growing concern for youth in need of long-term, supportive assistance that emergency shelter programs were not designed to provide, Congress created the Transitional Living Program for Older Homeless Youth as part of the 1988 Amendments to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974. FYSB funded the first transitional living programs in 1990.

Grant Award Process

FYSB funds the Transitional Living Program under the provisions of the Reconnecting Homeless Youth Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-378).

In FY 2014, 200 grantees received $43.6 million. FYSB solicits applications for the Transitional Living Program by posting funding announcements on the Grants.gov Web site. Applications are competitively reviewed by peer panels, and successful applicants receive five-year grants.

Contact Us

National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth
5515 Security Lane, Suite 800
North Bethesda, MD 20852
Telephone:  (301) 608-8098
Fax:  (301) 587-4352

Email: ncfy@acf.hhs.gov

Last Reviewed: October 19, 2015

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