YSSMC celebrates 30 years of service in Marshalltown

This year, Youth and Shelter Services of Marshall County (YSSMC) celebrates 30 years of service to Marshalltown and surrounding areas.

YSSMC, with the generous support of United Way, has served nearly 1,000 individuals this past year in Marshall County. In addition, YSSMC have served more than 500 in the outreach and prevention programs. YSSMC continues to expand its services to include Tama, Jasper, Hardin and Poweshiek as well as Johnson and Washington counties.

YSSMC offers the community nearly 20 different services including homeless/transitional living housing, family development, Hispanic outreach and interpretation services, in-home counseling, prevention programming, drug/alcohol assessments mental health counseling, and family team meeting facilitation.

Last year, YSSMC was pleased to announce that they received their second straight three year national accreditation through CARF, the highest award possible. This means that YSS conforms to the highest programmatic standards, including two exemplary citations that could be used as models for agencies across the nation.

Increasing budget cuts to county, state, and federal grants as well as to the Department of Human Services adds an even further strain to our efforts.

Without the continued support of United Way, several of our programs couldn’t continue to provide the same level of service.

United Way funding helps the following programs:

Transitional Living Programs

These programs are designed to assist and support homeless youth/young adults to self-sufficient living and prevent long-term dependency on social services.

Most participants live in scattered site apartments; female participants and their children may also be placed up to six months in the Host Home.

Supervision and skill development is provided through a Case Manager and monitors. Youth in the program must be working or going to school, following curfew, stay substance free, and save a portion of their monthly income.

Supervised Apartment Living

This is a Transitional Living Program that services single youth/young adults 16-18 years old who remain in the care of the Department of Human Services. Programming emphasizes everyday living skills such as budgeting, problem solving, running a household and seeking and securing a job.

Residents must be willing to participate in an educational program and/or maintain a full or part-time job and agree to save a portion of their salary.

New Hope and Lighthouse Projects

The Lighthouse and New Hope projects are transitional living programs for runaway or homeless males or females, ages 16-25 that are pregnant and/or parenting.

Participants are required to obtain and maintain full-time employment if they are not in school.

If a participant is in school, part-time employment is necessary.

Graduating from high school or obtaining a GED, whichever is appropriate, is required.

Our objectives include:

To provide a safe, stable living environment for up to 24 months while the youth is in the program.

To provide everyday living skills, parenting skills, knowledge of child development stages and nurturing techniques.

To provide knowledge of nutrition, budgeting, job attainment, educational advancement and physical and mental health care.

School-Based Services

This limited program serves elementary, middle, and high school students in the Marshalltown School District.

The counselors can provide guidance and support for potential runaways and students with behavioral issues and can serve as a liaison between our agency and the school.

Our objectives include:

To offer crisis intervention for runaway youth and families.

To lead support groups for independent living students, serving as case manager for their school attendance, work performance and credit status.

To facilitate gender specific groups that will encourage the development of leadership skills.

Hispanic Outreach Prevention and Empowerment Project

This program is designed to assist and support youth, parents, teachers, human service agencies and the community in helping Hispanic youth acquire self-esteem, positive status and a sense of belonging.

The Outreach Worker advocates for the Hispanic youth to integrate American culture while at the same time encouraging the youth to continue practicing and sharing their unique cultural differences.

Objectives include:

To provide prevention and intervention strategies to promote community involvement and interaction.

To represent the Hispanic community, encouraging networking and community participation, including English as a Second Language classes.

Family Development and Self Sufficiency (FaDSS)

This federally funded program works with income based families in Marshall County to reduce barriers to reach self-sufficiency. Income eligible people receiving FIP are case managed to increase employment skills, independent living, parenting skills, etc.

One on one case management to build skills.

Linking to other services and referrals to providers.

Strength based assessments to target needs.

Goal-centered plans to empower families and individuals.

Advocacy, guidance, and support for low-income families.

24 support line

This program serves as an outreach for children, young adults, families, and concerned citizens who may need assistance in dealing with conflict, homelessness, or need referral information to other agencies and services.

For additional information, visit yss.org or to refer a person to one of these programs, contact David Hicks, Director, Youth & Shelter Services of Marshall County 11 E. State St., Marshalltown, Iowa 50158, 641-752-2300.