Who We Serve
“LAYN’s therapy services changed my perspective on therapists. I thought that they helped people only for money, but when my mom and I received reunification counseling, I really thought maybe I could counsel people for a living. It was a huge impact and I would like the world to know that LAYN did that.”
-Former LAYN resident
Most homeless teenagers don’t live on the street. Many are couch surfers, sleeping in the basement of a friend’s house or crammed on a sofa at a relative’s house for a few days. Many homeless youth continue to attend school despite the many challenges they face.; They may be afraid of their peers finding out that they’re homeless; they may be dealing with being bullied or feeling like they don’t belong; they may not believe that they can do the work or succeed because they have undiagnosed learning disabilities or because they have fallen too far behind in their attendance and studies. These youth realize they have a need for support but are often unsure of how to access the help they need. Some homeless youth look like every other kid in school despite the heavy burden they are carrying; but often the exhaustion from couch surfing and stints on the streets wears them down, and they may try to find relief with drugs, alcohol, or other high-risk behaviors. We may hear about these youth from their relatives or friends, sometimes from schools or therapists, and sometimes they come to us from the Department of Child and Family Services. We are committed to serving this diverse population of youth; LAYN opens its doors and embraces all youth regardless of their race, gender, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and personal beliefs.
Download PDF: Continuum of Care
EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE
LAYN uses clinical practices that are “evidence-based”: practices that have been researched, tested and found to be effective with populations similar to the one we serve. The practices fall under the category of “trauma-informed care,” meaning that they are specially designed to help individuals who have been traumatized, meet their unique needs, and focus on their strengths. We use “Seeking Safety,” a manualized treatment for trauma and substance abuse, in both individual and group psychotherapy in all of the facilities. It is a highly researched practice that helps teach youth the skills they need to deal with trauma and live healthier and safer lives. We also use Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) to help youth deal with problems in the present and find solutions with the guidance of a mental health clinician. Some youth may also engage in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) to help process painful memories and events from the past.