Non-Profit Program to Connect Homeless Youth with Host Families

A temporary housing program could give vulnerable youth a safe place to stay.

Frederick, MD – A new program created by the Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) is coming to Frederick County this fall to connect homeless youth with host families.

The program would provide shelter for youth experiencing homelessness, at increased risk of experiencing sex trafficking, mental health issues, and drug addiction .

Frederick County has no housing options for homelesss unnaccompanied youth, but SHIP’s Executive Director Ed Hine said he hopes the new program will provide a solution.

“Host home programs largely are much akin to a foreign exchange student style program.” Hine said. “Not playing a parenting role, but largely to provide space, room and support for that youth while they go to school.”

Hine said the program will serve as a match-maker type system, thoroughly examining the best fit for a student and a host home.

“We work very dilligently to vet, screen, and understand the home environment,” Hine said. “And we do the very same thing for the youth we’re seeking to place in a suitable household.”

Summer (Who declined to provide her last name) is seeking to assist SHIP in the program. She said she experienced a breif situation of homelessness earlier this year and wanted to help others avoid the same situation.

“I couldn’t even handle it as an adult,” she said. “So to have something like that happen to a child or young adult; I wanted to help.”

The pilot program will begin in Septembner 2019 with plans to extend the scope and scale in 2020. For more information on the program and how to become a host family, go to

By Timothy Young