Imagine being able to change the trajectory of someone's life. Second Home connects unaccompanied homeless youth from your community with host home providers like you. You provide a stable housing situation, creating space for students to complete high school and realize their dreams. Students and home providers are connected only after an extensive vetting process and thorough background check. Stable housing not only opens doors to incredible opportunities for youth, it changes lives.
Home Provider FAQ
> How does the program work? Home-providers offer room and board to the student while they attend high school. All home-share arrangements are governed by rental agreements and house rules that the families and students negotiate together, with the help of the Second Home staff and a volunteer mediator from the Dispute Resolution Center. Support for the participants comes from both the Second Home staff and from the community. This is truly a community undertaking to improve the lives of our young people.
> Where will the students come from? Full-time students can be referred to the program by their school counselor or by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaisons of the School District.
> What am I expected to do for a student? You will give the student room and board for the school year (and possibly the summer depending on your agreement). You are not expected to become a foster parent, but should a mentoring relationship develop, that is absolutely fine.
> How will I pay for food? You may be expected to provide food for the student while they live with you. Some students have SNAP benefits to cover their food needs.
> Does the student pay rent? No financial payment is exchanged. Rental agreements are written to establish participation in normal household chores and to ensure school attendance.
> How long will it take to be connected with a student? The waiting time to find a connection is highly variable and depends on the students who are entering the program, their needs and your needs. Since you both must agree that you want to live together, it is as much your decision to live with a student as it is their decision to live with you. When you are deciding to become a home provider for a student, it is important that you understand that there may be a period of time between signing up and finding the right student to live in your home.
> What if things are not working? This does not happen often, but if you feel things are not working out, contact your regional coordinator. The goal of Second Home is to bring stability to student housing and to model positive conflict management. Your coordinator will work with you to make the necessary next steps. If conflict cannot be resolved, we will work with you and the student to transition well.
> What if I have plans to be out of town for an extended period of time? Every situation is different, but your regional coordinator will make the best effort to work with you to make appropriate arrangements. Some students will stay in the home and provide house sitting services. Other times students will stay with a friend or a temporary home provider.
> How is this different than foster parenting? Home providers are not asked to be parents but, at the minimum, asked to provide safe and stable housing. Our program is based on a rental contract operating under Oregon contract law. The student receives rental history under the terms that they attend high school, remain alcohol and drug free, and agree to the home share terms. Students are not placed with host homes; rather, they interview and choose their host home provider. And the host home provider offers their place for the student to stay.
> How will the student get transportation? The school district provides transportation to and from school. Transportation for after school activities can be addressed by the school district or the Second Home coordinator. Home providers are free to provide transport under their own terms but this is not required.
> What is the role of the student’s parents or other relations? This is different for every situation. It will be a topic for conversation addressed in mediation between the students and host home providers, and included in the contract agreement.
If you are interested in being a home provider, please contact the staff member in your region (view under "Contacts").
How to become a home provider
- Information. The first step is to read our home provider FAQ (above) and contact us with any questions you have.
- Apply. When you are ready, apply to become a home provider.
- Interview. You will be contacted by a Second Home staff member who will schedule an initial interview with you. During this interview we will ask you questions about your home and your hopes for being a home provider. If possible, we will see your physical space and get an idea of what the living quarters will be like for the student. This interview is a time for you to ask questions of us as well. Interviews in person are preferred, but due to social distancing measures will largely be virtual for the foreseeable future.
- Background check. You will complete a background check through our agency. At this point we will discuss anything with you that came up and how it could affect your eligibility to be a home provider for an unaccompanied student.
- Conversation. After any needed conversation with our staff, you may be approved to become a home provider with Second Home.
- Connect. Once you have been approved, the process of connecting a home provider with a student varies. Generally it begins with an introduction between the student and home provider, allowing each party to ask questions and see if living together might be a good fit. When two parties agree, we arrange mediation services to set a formal contract and move-in date in place.