The Host Homes Program was developed with the focus of serving young adults in our rural communities, which covers the following counties:
Lancaster County (NOT the city of Lincoln)
As of January 2018, Nebraska had an estimated 2,421 persons experiencing homelessness on any given day, as reported by Continuums of Care to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Of that total, 236 were family households, and 157 were unaccompanied young adults (aged 18-24).
Nebraska public school data, reported to the U.S. Department of Education during the 2016-2017 school year, shows that an estimated 3,422 public school students experienced homelessness over the course of the year. Of that total, 210 students were unsheltered, 858 were in shelters, 331 were in hotels/motels, and 2,023 were doubled up.
Young adults, ages 18-24 who are homeless, often lack the financial, social, and emotional resources all individuals need when living on their own. Many have voiced a fear of living independently due to the need to strengthen their daily living life skills. Many young adults don’t know where to go for help. Others fear that asking for help will result in a referral to a homeless shelter, which is seen as a high-risk, unpredictable environment, and coupled with the young adult’s natural vulnerabilities such as age, developmental level, history, mental health needs, and lack of current support systems, place them at risk.
The Host Homes Program is the perfect support for young adults that need additional supports prior to living independently. Host Homes is a flexible and cost-effective model for providing stable housing and supports that offers a home-like, non-institutional environment rooted in the community.
Dani DeVries and Sue Brooks are the Host Homes Program staff who are responsible for recruiting persons (“Host”) in the community to house a young adult, matching the young adult (“Guest”) with a Host, and providing education to the community about the Host Homes Program. As such, they’re frequently asked questions about becoming a Host Home provider and related Host responsibilities, so they’re sharing answers to commonly asked questions below:
This web page is for Host Home Providers. If you are a young adult experiencing homelessness, please contact Dani DeVries at (402) 441-4351 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Host Home provider (“Host”) is a person who makes a difference in the life of a young adult (“Guest”) by opening their heart and their home. Hosts who participate in our innovative Host Homes Program share their home with a young adult experiencing homelessness or near homelessness, providing the Guest with needed support to launch into independent, adult living. With the support of Region V Systems’ Host Homes Program Coordinators, each Host becomes a trusted caregiver, a friend, and an advocate for the Guest with whom they live. This special relationship between the Host and the Guest is the foundation of the program’s success. Our Hosts are our greatest resource and enable us to help Guests live rich, meaningful lives in the communities they call home.
Each Host Home is assigned two program Coordinators who will provide case management support (one Coordinator for the Host, and one Coordinator for the Guest). Our program Coordinators are knowledgeable human services professionals, responsible for ensuring that the Host’s and Guest’s needs are being met, that each Host Home stays in conformance with program standards, and that each Guest’s plan of care is being followed. Coordinators will visit the Guest and the Host in the home on a monthly basis, or more frequently as needed.
The support that a Host provides is specifically tailored to meet the needs of the Guest who lives with the Host. The actual level of support and active assistance varies by each Guest. A comprehensive matching process takes into account the abilities, strengths, needs, desires, and preferences of both the Host and the Guest to ensure a successful match.
Host Home providers (“Hosts”) do not conform to any standard profile. They represent a wide range of backgrounds and skill levels. They may be stay-at-home moms/dads, retirees, or empty nesters, looking for a way to give back, or social services professionals with experience caring for young adults experiencing or at risk of becoming homeless. Hosts may be married or single, men or women, and represent a wide range of ethnicities and religions. One constant among our Hosts, however, is their commitment to the individual who lives with them, whom they care for and can make a positive difference.
Host Home requirements include:
- Hosts must be at least 25 years of age
- Hosts must be the mortgage or lease holder of the property
- Hosts must have a private, dedicated bedroom for the young adult Guest
- Hosts must have a valid Nebraska driver’s license and/or reliable transportation
- Hosts must be willing for everyone 19 and older in their household to undergo complete background check
Hosts will be required to complete up to 6 hours of initial training provided through Region V Systems. The training topics include an Introduction to the Host Homes Program, Understanding the Dynamics of Homelessness, Mandatory Reporting, and First Aid. Required training must be completed prior to being matched with a guest.
Thereafter, Hosts will be required to participate in 6 hours of annual training. Additional training and/or educational materials will be made available for Hosts in topical areas specific to your individual needs.
Yes! Hosts will receive a $350 monthly allowance for food and transportation to support the Guest. Please note that if a young adult is not in the Host Home for the entire month, the amount will be prorated.
Allowance checks will be mailed on the 1st of the following month after becoming a Host. Example: If you become a Host on January 1, an allowance check will be mailed to you on February 1 for the month of January.
For payment periods where the Guest has lived in the Host Homes for 13 days or less, a daily rate of $12.50 ($175 / 14 days) will be paid.
Initial and final allowance payments may be a slightly different amount and may be sent later than the normal pay schedule depending on when the Guest moves in or out of the Host Home.
The first step is to complete a Host Home Provider Application (inclusive of background check documentation for all members of the household age 19 and above). You can access the application and complete on-line by clicking here:
Don’t want to complete on-line? No problem! Once you have clicked on the above link, you also have the option of downloading the application to complete by hand. Your handwritten application can be provided as follows:
- Attach to your e-mail and send to: email@example.com
- Mail to: Region V Systems, c/o Host Homes Program, 1645 “N” Street. Lincoln, NE 68508.
Once your application is received, you will receive communication from Region V Systems within 2 business days.
As part of the process for preparing to welcome a Guest into your home, our Host Homes Program staff will work with you to ensure you have all of the information and materials you need to be successful.
In general, Hosts are responsible for providing a private, dedicated bedroom for the Guest and basic daily living care. This will include providing or ensuring access to nutritious meals, transportation to appointments, and assisting with access to community activities (social recreational activities), as needed.
The Nebraska Balance of State Continuum of Care coordinates database information for homeless or near homeless young adults who are awaiting a Host match.
Once the Host Homes Program has approved your application, and you are ready to accept a Guest into your home, the matching process will begin by drawing upon the young adults’ names that are maintained in the state’s database.
Dependent upon location of need, being matched with a Guest can vary from a few days to several weeks. Proper matching takes time and is well worth the investment that it takes to make that “perfect match” between you and the individual you will support.
The matching process is designed to ensure that the Host and the Guest are comfortable with each other so that you can live harmoniously together and develop a meaningful and caring relationship. Ultimately, you will have the final say over who you choose to welcome into your home.
Our goal, through our comprehensive matching process and ongoing support, is to ensure that you and the Guest who comes to live with you know each other well to live together comfortably.
The Host Homes Program is offered to homeless youth/young adults, ages 18-24, for up to 12 months, with the option of extending for an additional 12 months (total of 24 months with the Host).
At Region V Systems, we are here to help and support you and your Guest. Trust us, you’re never alone in this. Our program staff are available to ensure that you have the support you need—every step of the way.
After a Host-Guest match is completed, you will be given contact information for your Coordinator.
All general questions/concerns can always be directed to:
402-441-4351 (Dani DeVries)
All Hosts, and anyone residing in the household 19 years and older, will be required to complete a background check. Host eligibility decisions will be based on information obtained and on a case-by-case basis.
Region V Systems’ Host Homes Program is funded from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) grant #14.276 ($157,945, or 100%).