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The original item was published from 6/29/2021 10:43:00 AM to 7/10/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: June 24, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Youth Navigation Center Grand Opening

YNC Building with Logo

Center for Human Services is building a Youth Navigation Center (YNC) to engage, stabilize and prepare our most vulnerable youth for bright futures.

With 1 in 10 young adults and 1 in 30 adolescents experiencing homelessness each year nationwide, it is clear that youth homelessness is a growing crisis. Affected youth have an increased risk of becoming homeless in adulthood, which can lead to a decline in mental and emotional health and an increased risk of experiencing violence and substance use disorders. Center for Human Services (CHS) Outreach workers have been working to document youth and young adults in the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) in Stanislaus County since July 2018.

CHS has provided housing and/or drop-in services to over 1,000 youth over the past 3 years through their youth shelter, Hutton House and Pathways, their transitional housing program. Their goal is to provide a safe haven for youth in crisis and continue this work. However, in order to meet the needs of our community, a centralized and comprehensive service model was needed.

The Youth Navigation Center will provide shelter, housing and comprehensive drop-in services to any youth or young adults in Stanislaus County between the ages of 13-24, experiencing crisis, housing instability and/or homelessness. This new facility will add 14,300 square feet to the main office, include three separate “suites” for housing and shelter by age group, a drop-in center, and rooms for individual and family counseling.

CHS has co-located the current shelter services offered by Hutton House and Pathways and added comprehensive drop-in services – creating the first centralized youth-focused facility of its kind in Stanislaus County. Among the new services offered will be a low-barrier shelter to accommodate up to 24 young adults and a drop-in center to accommodate an additional 20-30 youth and young adults daily.

“They’re at a unique place in their lives,” said Jenn Nielsen, Youth Navigation Center Program Manager. “This facility will focus on helping youth the way that they need to be helped.” With their basic needs met, these youth can experience greater advancement and take steps toward healing and self-sufficiency.


Currently, there is no coordinated system of care for youth experiencing crisis, housing instability, and/or homelessness in Stanislaus County. There are also no dedicated shelter beds for 18-24 year olds. Services are fragmented or nonexistent. The new Youth Navigation Center will create a space where existing services can be relocated and new services developed, creating a clear pathway to support services for youth/young adults. 

As a partner in the local efforts to address homelessness, the City has awarded the Center for Human Services with a $500,000 loan and a $500,000 grant in Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG) for acquisition of property to be used as a Youth Navigation Center.


Center for Human Services has also launched a capital campaign to raise $1.5 million for the construction and development of the Youth Navigation Center.

As part of this campaign, donors can contribute to one or more specific areas of choice through naming and recognition opportunities. As Cindy Duenas, CHS Executive Director, said, “By uniting the passion and commitment of our partners, community members, financial supporters and staff, we create sustainable solutions that allow us to continue changing lives, building futures, and helping families.”

Join the YNC campaign


Join us on July 9 for the grand opening and a tour of the Youth Navigation Center (YNC) of Stanislaus County. Opening remarks are at 11:30 am. For social distancing and safety, small group tours begin at 11:45 am and will be offered every 10 minutes until 2 pm. RSVP to reserve your spot!

YNC tour sign-up

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