Community Action & Human Services
Youth and Family Alternatives operates three short-term shelter programs for youth between the ages of 10 thru 17, one of those being the George W. Harris, Jr. Runaway and Youth Crisis Shelter, located in Bartow, Florida.
We are open to youth who are runaway or homeless or youth in need of a short- term out of home respite placement for any reason. We also accept youth who are in need of an emergency shelter placement due to abuse and/or neglect and for youth in foster care who have experienced a disruption in their foster placement. Shelter services are provided for up to fourteen days.
The program does not accept youth who has a history of violent behavior or ones that are combative or has a felony conviction. The program will not accept youth who are intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs. Youth who have suicidal ideations or severe psychiatric or developmental challenges are referred for more appropriate services.
The program provides 24 hour, 7 day a week admission services, youth supervision, food, clothing if needed, crisis counseling, life skills education, individual and family counseling, recreation and leisure time activities and case management services. Educational services are provided by the local school district in the county in which the shelter is located. Youth and their families are expected to actively participate in program services and abide by program rules. There is no fee for program services.
The program serves as a short-term placement for youth in crisis. After leaving the shelter, youth and their family may be referred for continued family counseling through the YFA Family Services outpatient programs.