What began over 30 years ago as outreach services to runaway/homeless youth in the community has evolved into a wide array of youth services to meet the growing needs of homeless, “at risk” and runaway youth ages 12 to 21. Pinnacle Community Services provides both residential services and non-residential services in order to meet the ever-changing needs of youth in our community.
A multitude of socioeconomic factors contribute to family instability in our Niagara Region and this instability greatly impacts our young people. Youth who for many reasons are not able to go home after school or find themselves in unsafe situations at home need a place where they can go to be safe, a responsible caring adult they can turn to for assistance with the immediate crisis they are facing or help with their transition to young adulthood. Crisis intervention is available 24/7 to assess the crisis and offer services based on the needs of the youth. Pinnacle provides emergency shelter services for homeless youth at Casey House Shelter and non-residential Transitional Services to youth in the community.
The philosophy of our Youth Services is that all youth should be treated with respect and offered assistance in acquiring the life skills necessary to become confident, self-determining, capable individuals.
Sometimes running away seems to be the only option left to a youth. Frequently it is not, but a youth may need time and professional guidance to explore other options.
Casey House, located at 710 Cedar Avenue in Niagara Falls, is a twelve-bed co-ed short-term emergency shelter for runaway, homeless, ‘at-risk’ and ‘throwaway’ youth ages 12 to 17. Crisis intervention services are available 24/7 in order to respond immediately to a youth in need. The youth can contact Casey House directly at 716-285-7125 or the youth may be referred by a parent, guardian, school staff, law enforcement personnel or other concerned individuals.
When a youth enters a shelter, his/her parents or legal guardians are notified that the youth is in the shelter in a safe location. The Casey House staff maintains on-going contact with the family or guardian while the youth is in the shelter.
A Casey House staff member can assess the crisis and offer services based on the needs of the youth. Short-term, crisis-oriented counseling is provided; and the staff will work with the youth and family to help resolve the current crisis and to help them learn new ways of communication to prevent family issues from reaching crisis status in the future. If additional issues are present, the family and/or youth are referred to long-term counseling. This is frequently the case because running away is often a symptom of underlying problems with the family system. Casey House works closely with other community service providers to ensure that the youth is linked with appropriate services in the community. Family reunification is the goal when possible, and in those cases when reunification is not an option the Casey House staff work to facilitate an alternate stable living environment for the youth.
A warm safe bed at Casey House is better than life on the streets.
Teen 24/7 Crisis Hotline 716-285-7125
3-D “Dare, Dream, Drive”
3-D “Dare, Dream, Drive” offers a safety net for youth experiencing hardships and skill-building opportunities to enhance some self-sufficiency skills.
This program is designed to work with youth for a minimum of 3 months, up to a year of support services.
The qualifying criteria include:
• Youth who are literally homeless, at imminent risk
of homelessness or fleeing violence
• Children who are 12-24 years of age
• Youth residing in the City of Niagara Falls and
• Youth agrees to participate in the program
The Street Outreach Services Program of Casey House connects youth who are experiencing homelessness and assists them to find safe living arrangements. The dedicated street outreach worker is on the street four days per week looking for these homeless youth to build meaningful relationships and trust. While also providing street-based engagement, survival resources, educational information, referral linkage, and support services. Even, if the case manager is unable to get the youth to leave the streets. The worker will provide the youth with food, hygiene package, PPE, and the Casey House toll-free telephone number. The program will serve youth between the ages of 12-24 residing in Niagara Falls. The outreach worker will collaborate with other services personal will work with youth, families, support systems, and community partners to engage in risk reduction, so that personal and community safety are enhanced
Many youths in the community are struggling to make the transition to young adulthood, but they do not need emergency shelter services. The Transitional Services Program is available to youth ages 16 to 21 years old to help them learn the skills necessary to become strong, independent young adults.
Services are provided FREE of charge and often include
- Residential assistance
- Educational assistance
- Job hunting /Interviewing skills
- Social services (DSS) assistance
- Medical assistance
- Skills to help young adults become independent and self-sufficient
- Youth can meet with the Transitional Youth Services worker at Casey House Shelter or in other community settings.
For more information to make an appointment with the Transitional Youth Services Worker
call Casey House at 716-285-7125.
Some Helpful Web Links
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline www.loveisrespect.org
New York Coalition for Homeless Youth www.nychy.org
National Runaway Switchboard www.1800runaway.org
HHS Family & Youth Services Bureau www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/resource/mgh-fact-sheet