The Compass House Emergency Shelter

370 Linwood Ave, Buffalo NY 14209
24-Hour Crisis Help Line (716)-886-0935

Compass House offers safe shelter and crisis counseling for runaway and homeless youth. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year the emergency shelter program provides food, shelter, crisis counseling, family and individual counseling, referrals, advocacy and aftercare for up to thirteen youth.

The mission is to offer time in a safe supportive environment where youth can voluntarily make constructive decisions about their lives. We help teenagers and their families resolve family problems and reunite with greater trust and understanding. When returning home is not possible or appropriate we help find alternative living arrangements, working closely with the youth's family and other agencies, as necessary.

In twenty-seven years, Compass House has provided shelter and counseling over 10,500 young people. In 1998, our 13 bed shelter provided 3054 days of shelter, food and care to 418 runaway and homeless youth. Our average daily population was 8.4 youth for an average stay of 7.3 days.

The 24-Hour Hot Line

Our 24-hour hot line is staffed by youth counselors trained to provide crisis counseling, intake assessments, information and referrals. This intervention may help a youth and his or her family resolve difficulties without having to leave home. Since 1972 more than 15,000 young people have received non-residential services. In 1998, Compass House provided hot-line crisis counseling, information and referrals to 1035 youth, families and concerned community members.

Independent Living Program

In early 1979, a program to provide services to homeless youth, (young people with no family or agency willing to support, or provide for their basic needs,) was developed. One counselor, with a case load of 12 youth, provided individual, family and group counseling, referrals, advocacy, life-skills training and aftercare to these youth going out in the community on their own. This program demonstrated the need for long-term supportive services to assist youth establish stable living situations. Many of the living situations they find themselves in are fragile, without assistance and on-going supportive services these tenuous situations may fail and they will find themselves homeless again.

The increasing number of homeless youth, each with complex individual needs was far too much for one counselor. In July of 1986 this program expanded to become the Resource Center, a non-residential center for homeless youth 16 through 20 years old was established.