Transitional Living Program Fact Sheet

March 26, 2014 9:39 am



The mission of the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) is to promote safety, stability and well-being for people who have experienced or been exposed to violence, neglect or trauma. FYSB achieves this through supporting programs that provide shelter, community services and prevention education for youth, adults and families.


FYSB’s Transitional Living Program supports projects that provide long-term residential services to homeless youth ages 16-22. Services are provided for up to 21 months. Young people who have not yet turned 18 at the end of the 21 months may be able stay until their 18th birthday.

Transitional Living Programs are required to provide youth with stable, safe living accommodations, and services that help them develop the skills necessary to become independent. Living accommodations may include host-family homes, group homes, maternity group homes, or supervised apartments owned by the program or rented in the community.


Thousands of young people run away or are forced to leave their homes each year. Since 1975, the Federal Government has funded emergency shelter programs for runaway and homeless youth to provide for their immediate needs and promote family reunification. Unfortunately, many homeless young people can’t go home. In response to growing concern for youth in need of long-term, supportive assistance that emergency shelter programs were not designed to provide, congress created the Transitional Living Program for Older Homeless Youth as part of the 1988 Amendments to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974. FYSB funded the first transitional living programs in 1990.


Transitional Living Program grantees are required to offer or refer for the following services:

  • Safe, stable living accommodations
  • Basic life-skill building, including consumer education and instruction in budgeting, the use of credit, housekeeping, menu planning, food preparation and parenting skills
  • Interpersonal skill building, including enhancing young people’s abilities to establish positive relationships with peers and adults, make decisions and manage stress
  • Educational opportunities, such as GED preparation, postsecondary training and vocational education
  • Assistance in job preparation and attainment, such as career counseling and job placement
  • Education, information and counseling to prevent, treat and reduce substance abuse
  • Mental health care, including individual and group counseling
  • Physical health care, including routine physicals, health assessments and emergency treatment

Transitional Living Programs also incorporate the Positive Youth Development, or PYD, approach into their programs. PYD suggests that the best way to prevent risky behavior is to help youth achieve their full potential. Youth development strategies focus on giving young people the chance to exercise leadership, build skills and become involved in their communities.

Grant Award Process

FYSB funds the Transitional Living Program under the provisions of the reconnecting Homeless Youth Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-378). In FY 2013, 206 programs received $37.2 million total.

FYSB solicits applications for the Transitional Living Program by posting funding announcements on the Web site. Applications are competitively reviewed by peer panels, and successful applicants receive five-year grants.

Contact Us

National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth
5515 Security Lane, Suite 800
North Bethesda, MD 20852
Telephone:  (301) 608-8098
Fax:  (301) 587-4352