An estimated 15,000 young people run away from home per year in Northern Virginia. Many return home, many don’t. Whatever their situation, we are here for all of them.
We are a Second Story for Teens in Crisis. We step in at the critical moments when young people can make the most life-altering decisions or mistakes, and we provide minute-by-minute support and guidance to keep them moving toward positive outcomes. We help them write their second story.
Our teen shelter offers a safe haven to young people in crisis, at no cost to young people or their families. When a young person has nowhere to turn, our door is always open. We are here for teens when home doesn’t feel safe. We welcome teens who have run away, been kicked out of their home, are homeless, have been abused, have been traumatized, or are otherwise in crisis.
The shelter is a completely voluntary program for young people 13 to 17 years old. In addition to safe shelter, food and clothing, each teen receives intensive individual, group and family counseling and help keeping up with their education. Young people may stay for up to three weeks at a time, as staff and counselors help them plan their next step and write their second story.
Each year, an average of 200 young people find help and hope at Second Story’s teen shelter. Our goal is to reunite these children with their families whenever possible. When this is not possible, we find a safe longer-term living arrangement. On average, 95 percent of the young people who come to Second Story return to their families, with supports in place after they leave.
Established in 1972, our teen shelter in Vienna, Virginia remains the only shelter of its kind in the Washington, DC Area. There were five other shelters similar to ours located in Northern Virginia, but over the past ten years, all five have closed their doors. The next closest shelter like ours in the state of Virginia is located in Virginia Beach.
Our programs offer safety in the moment and much more. They empower and inspire young people to rise far above their challenges and equip them with the skills they need to shape a new narrative for their lives.