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Safety Net Shelter

Runaway & Youth Homeless Shelter

Program requirements:
Bill Wilson Center's Safety Net Shelter serves youth ages 12-18.

To receive services:
Please contact Bill Wilson Center at (408) 243-0222 and ask for an Intake Counselor. Youth may also stop by 3490 The Alameda in Santa Clara at any time for help.

About the Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter:
Bill Wilson Center's Safety Net Shelter provides short-term shelter for homeless and runaway youth ages 12-18. Through intensive individual, group and family counseling the shelter's program strives to reunite families whenever possible, prevent future problems and stabilize the lives of young people to keep them safe. Our shelter operates 24/7 with staff onsite to serve our youth.

A typical day in the shelter includes family-style meals prepared by our chef with the assistance of the youth. Each youth completes assigned chores. Youth attend their designated school, if youth are on independent study residential counselors ensure youth are completing their packets. Family and individual counseling occurs at least 1-2 times per week and is coordinated through the assigned case manager.

Our recreational therapist designs workshops and groups for the youth to participate in which include independent skill development. Youth also participate in expressive art group, drug and alcohol educational groups, runaway prevention groups, and groups designed to assist youth with making healthy choices to help them better succeed in their lives.

In addition to these groups, supervised recreational outings to promote healthy prosocial behaviors are provided. Relationship building is a large part of the shelter life. Our residential counselors serve as role models and focus on maintaining safety while building strong positive relationships in order to foster trust.

Basic responsibilities for each youth include participating in school, recreational activities and counseling sessions. Establishing positive relationships with staff and other residents is also an expectation, as well as following house rules such as maintaining a clean bedroom and completing daily chores.


The Rainbow Ladder

The Rainbow Ladder provides a structured system to meet the youth where they are at and help them succeed in the Safety Net Shelter and gain skills to navigate their lives more successfully.

Phase I: ORANGE - Stabilization - Typically the first 24 hours of admission to the Safety Net Shelter. This is a time for basic needs to be met and orient youth to the program.

Phase 2: GREEN – Engagement - this is the time for developing relationships with our Residential Counselors, Case Managers, Recreational Therapist and Program Manager. This stage is where we work with youth to acknowledge and understand their challenges and begin to think about solving them.

Phase 3: CRIMSON - Stabilization - This is the remainder of the time in the Safety Net Shelter where youth demonstrate an understanding of house rules, learn to manage their behaviors, build on important relationships with caring adults and actively work their treatment goals.

Phase 4: PLATINUM - Transitioin - In this phase, transition refers to preparing to discharge from the Safety Net Shelter. This process actually begins at the time of admission. At this stage, we review successes of treatment goals and create expectation for discharge.

After Care Services: All youth and families receive after care services once they discharge from the Safety Net Shelter. After involves ongoing services with your case manager to promote success once youth return home. This includes ongoing case management, individual counseling, and family counseling. After Care Services are provided at Bill Wilson Center, in the community, or in the home wherever families feel most comfortable.


Runaway & Youth Homeless Shelter

Learn More about Bill Wilson Center's Runaway & Homeless Youth Shelter

If you are interested in learning more about our Runaway & Homeless Youth Shelter, please consider joining us for an upcoming tour.

Tours will touch on the following topics:

  • Bill Wilson Center's guiding principles
  • Success stories of past clients
  • Methods and principles implemented in our Youth Shelter
For more information on Bill Wilson Center tours, please click here.