The Power of Case Management with Youth

Ozone House General Blog

Case managers at Ozone House build trusting relationships, use evidence-based practices, and empower youth as they increase their skills, further their independence, and build positive relationships.  In the last year, Ozone House has provided case management services to 257 young people navigating serious challenges. 

Recently, a case manager had been working with a young person who had been living out of their car for about a year. Their determination to better their life circumstances was at the core of their case management experience.  Instead of calling it their car, they divided the front and back with a blanket and called it their “two bedroom apartment.” They took this time in their life as an opportunity to grow from their experience and utilized journaling to help process their journey. With persistence, they were permanently housed and also got their new apartment furnished by our local community partner House N2 Home. They are excited to have a roof over their head and feel as though the possibilities for their future are now endless! They are applying to start school at college in the Fall, and can’t wait for what’s next on their journey.

Another way Ozone House case managers support young people is through our SOLO Program (Supported Opportunities for Living on your Own).  SOLO is a housing program for our young adults with documented disabilities. This collaborative program partners with other providers in the county, like Avalon Housing, and allows young people to live in their own apartment independently while receiving case management services to assist them with sustaining their independence.

Case managers, week after week, are advocating for young people to access the services they need.  This often looks like assistance with meetings, appointments, and communicating with community partners, government offices, and other organizations.  Our case managers provide life skills training (housing, education, career planning, etc.) for our youth and young adults to help them overcome extreme challenges and become self-sufficient.  They help young people access medical benefits, food assistance, education, mental health services, obtain IDs and provide emotional support. Talking through needs and creating action steps on how to access resources is crucial to building rapport and maintaining client autonomy over their own care.

The trauma that our young people experience is often caused by systemic injustices such as poverty, violence and oppression. For youth experiencing homelessness, their very survival (physically, emotionally, and socio-economically) is threatened every day. When young people suffer from abuse such as: neglect, family and community violence, victimization, exploitation, and/or rejection, it profoundly influences a young person’s sense of safety and ultimately their health and wellbeing.  Case management also provides healing, connection and transformative care when so often young people don’t have a strong support system. And hope. We also connect young people to hope.  Hope that there is a better future they are moving toward today.