“It’s going to have a ripple effect”; Youth housing program predicted to help twice as many young adults with expansion

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP)  — In a time when more young adults need help, the Youth Focused backed housing initiative known as HEARTH has expanded the number of people it can help at a single time.  

HEARTH stands for Hope Empowerment And Resiliency Through Housing, and has helped dozens of young adults find their footing in the world over the past several years.  

The organization has leased two two-bedrooms apartments at a High Point complex, where four individuals, between the ages of 18 and 21, are able to stay for upwards of 18 months.  

During this time, those individuals are given guidance on how to manage their finance, how to find a hold a job, and conflict resolution.  

They also have access to onsite mentors and supervisors who help out when needed.  

In March of 2022, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety chose HEARTH to award close to $200,000 to expand its operations in the Triad.

$20,000 was for startup and furnishing costs, while $176,000 was for annual operational costs.  

Since the announcement, HEARTH has rented out two more two-bedroom apartment units at the same High Point complex, which will be able to house four additional young adults who need help.

“You may think it’s just four extra kids, but you’re improving your community,” explained Sarah Roethlinger who helps to oversee the program. “It’s going to have a ripple effect, because the folks they’re involved with are going to see, oh they are making some good decisions.”  

She told FOX8 that the program’s expansions have allowed young people to take control over their lives and futures in a way they previously weren’t able to do.  

Sarah said, “A lot of these kids don’t have the skills and the resources they need to make it . . . It’s empowering the youth because sometimes there are barriers.” 

Geronica is one of those who has taken control of her life. At 20 years old, she has been through tough seasons of her life, that she describes as being toxic and life-threatening.  

“I was staying in a hotel, I was going and working in a club,” Geronica explained. “The next thing you know, you’re in high school and the next thing you know you’re in hotels, not eating for days, and don’t know where anything came from.” 

She has dreams to become a dental assistances, and traveling makeup artist to help people feel comfortable and confident in their own skin.  

“It feels like I don’t have to live that lifestyle anymore. I don’t have to worry. I’m secure in myself and where I’m at in life,” Geronica said.