The Sanctuary: Sanctuary Runaway and Homeless Shelter

Westchester County’s Safe Haven for Teens

The goal of Sanctuary is to help youth deal with their immediate crisis and to intervene with their families in an attempt to get them back to their homes. In some cases, Sanctuary can serve as a respite for families who need a cooling off period before addressing a major family conflict. This service prevents many teens from running away and allows parents the time to reflect on their response to a family crisis.

When a teen arrives, a staff member calls his or her parents to let them know that their child is safe; however, parents may not be given the location of the shelter to protect the safety of the child. Youth are given food, medical care, clothing, and a warm bed to sleep in. Counselors assess the youngster’s situation and, working in partnership with youth, form a plan of action focused on resolving the problems that led the youth to leave home and seek shelter. That plan incorporates family, school, or other related agencies or institutions. Learn more about our work with families.
When possible, youth return to their home school during the day, using the Westchester bus system. If that is not possible or prudent, youth receive education in the district that serves the shelter.

Teens in need can also find more information and links to resources through the National Runaway Switchboard.


The Sanctuary: Work With Families           

Staff work intensely with each child’s family while he or she is at the shelter; however, it is difficult to resolve a long-standing family problem during the short stay. For this reason, staff provide follow-up support to the family for three to six months with the goal of keeping kids home and safe. The transition back home is a critical and stressful time for youth and families alike. To help prevent the recurrence of problems, staff visit the home, providing support and counseling. If other family needs are identified, our staff also makes referrals to the appropriate community-based resources. The goal is to achieve family self-sufficiency, eliminate neglect and abuse, and reunite families, or when that is not possible, prepare youth for independent living.

© 2016 Children's Village, Inc.
The Children's Village