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Our mission is to provide a safe, stable and nurturing living environment for Solano County runaway and homeless youth.
CINOH provides the only programs in Solano County for runaway and homeless youth: a transitional living programfor pregnant or parenting young women ages 20 and under and an emergency youth shelter for all runaway and homeless youth ages 13-17.
Up until 12 years ago, no program at all existed for Solano County homeless or runaway youth. In response to this need CINOH established, in 2002, a four-bed, 18 month transitional living program that provides young women and their babies with intensive case management to help them become self-sufficient and obtain safe, stable housing. These young women and their children are supported with health care, family planning, access to social services, education, job training, welfare and legal aid assistance along with basic life skills and parenting skills training. Mental health services including individual, group and family counseling are provided to all clients. In 2012 CINOH opened a six-bed 21-day shelter that provides safe shelter, showers, food, individual and family counseling, dental and health referral services as well as case management. Together these programs have improved the health and quality of life for homeless and runaway youth throughout both rural and urban Solano County.
CINOH clients include under-age girls who have provided survival sex; young men and women who were sleeping in their cars and/or bouncing around friends’ houses; youth aging out of foster care and at high risk for becoming homeless; young people released from juvenile hall and/or on probation who have no place to live; and, LGBT youth rejected by parents or caregivers because of their sexual orientation. Most have physical health problems and mental health concerns and are at-risk of sexual exploitation, drug and alcohol abuse, gang involvement and/or criminal behavior as they try to survive while dealing with past and current trauma and adversity.
The difference these programs make is truly life saving. More than 100 youth have been helped by CINOH since 2002; of these, 95% exit to a safe living situation. The Community Action Partnership of Solano (CAP Solano) states that "These services have saved lives ... CAP Solano has referred clients to this program and observed great success." Solano County Health and Social Services notes that, "Given the shrinking resources in Solano County due to the budget issues ... along with a steady, if not increasing need for such services, Children in Need of Hugs are an essential tool in our arsenal of resources." Without CINOH there would be no place for safe shelter for homeless youth nor a supportive transitional living program for homeless young mothers in Solano County.
- Kathleen Phillips
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