Vermont Coalition Shepherding Youth to Long-term Success

Photograph of a young woman standing outdoors under a big blue sky.“My home situation was nowhere that a child should be,” says Mindy, a 20-year old from Vermont. “I ended up moving to a few different places. I went from my uncle’s, to my aunt’s, to my brother’s, to my sister’s house, to my grandmother’s house, and then back to my parents.”

By the time she was 12, Mindy had gotten involved in drugs and alcohol. Then she ran away, living on the streets for long stretches of time. At 17, and recently out of jail, she connected with the transitional living program at the Washington County Youth Service Bureau, a Family and Youth Services Bureau grantee in Montpelier.

With the support of Nora Lovelette, the Transitional Living Program coordinator, Mindy got her own apartment and put her life back on track.

“I completely changed everything about myself. I changed my attitude. I changed my way of thinking. I completely stopped doing drugs,” Mindy says. “Because of the transitional living program, I now know how to take care of myself in a responsible way. I’m so much more at peace.”

Washington County Youth Service Bureau is part of the Vermont Coalition of Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs, a statewide coalition of service providers that create a safety net for youth who are experiencing homelessness or family conflict that might lead them to run away.