My First Place is an education and employment program that serves young adults (18-24) who are in or are emancipated from child welfare or probation systems. The program employs housing and case management supports to provide participants with the stable foundations that enable them to successfully transition to self-sufficiency.
We believe that safe, stable housing is necessary in order for these young people to focus on their education and employment goals. Therefore, all My First Place participants receive fully subsidized housing in a shared apartment for the full duration of their stay in program.
While in program, youth are expected to work closely with their MFP team—consisting of a Youth Advocate (a Masters level social worker), an Education and Employment Specialist, and a Housing Specialist—as they pursue their self-identified goals in healthy living, education, employment, and housing goals.
Youth Advocates and participants meet one-on-one, face-to-face at least once weekly to support participants in developing healthy living skills and removing barriers to education or employment. These meetings are tailored to the needs of the participant and topics of discussion can range from setting and respecting boundaries, to healthy relationships, to budgeting, to counseling. The Youth Advocate has a caseload of 1:12-15.
Participants meet with their Education & Employment (EE) Specialist twice a month to support their pursuit of educational opportunities, including high school completion, earning a GED, or enrolling in higher education, as well as in identifying and pursuing employment opportunities. First Place encourages linked learning opportunities and marketable, industry-recognized certifications when possible. The EE Specialist has a caseload of 1:30-36, and because of this higher case-load and youth work or school schedules we allow one meeting with participants to be by phone each month.