SONYA’S HOUSE, the first Basic Center Program, (BCP) located in Southern Maryland. The purpose of the BCP is to provide a safe emergency shelter and counseling services to runaway and homeless youth, under the age of 18, who have left home without permission of their parents or guardians; have been forced to leave their home; cannot live safely with a parent, legal guardian, or relative; have no other safe alternative living arrangement; or other homeless youth who might otherwise end up in contact with law enforcement or in the child welfare, mental health, or juvenile justice systems. BCP reaches out to Runaway Homeless Youth, (RHY) girls located in in Charles County, St. Mary’s County, Prince George’s County, Calvert County; and Washington, D.C.. SONYA’s HOUSE will facilitate healing and recovery while promoting the social and emotional well-being of youth girls experiencing homelessness, sexual abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, and/or trauma.
SONYA’S HOUSE also strengthens community-based programs that meet the immediate needs of runaway and homeless youth and their families. Therefore, as a Basic Center, our program is designed to ensure that effective interventions are in place to build skills and capacities that contribute to the health, and positive productive functioning of youth under 18 years of age, and their families.
Services at SONYA’s HOUSE include, emergency shelter food, clothing, group/individual/family counseling, needs assessments, referrals for health care and aftercare. As a Basic Center Program, SONYA’S HOUSE can provide up to 21 days of shelter for youth and will seek to reunite young people with their families, whenever possible, or to locate appropriate alternative long-term placements with other willing and responsible adults. We are dedicated to supplying the basic needs of runaway homeless youth in our communities. Our youth thrive not just survive.
Educations Rights of Homeless Students
The McKinney-Vento Definition of Homeless
The term “homeless children and youths”–
(A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.
1. Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals.
2. Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
3. Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.
4. Migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (1) through (3).
Rights of Eligible Children and Youth
• Right to immediate school enrollment even when records not present
• Right to remain in the school of origin, if in the student’s best interest
• Right to receive transportation to and from the school of origin
• Right to receive support for academic success