Shelter, Housing & Crisis

24 Hour Crisis Line


Crisis Nursery of greater Rochester

The Crisis Nursery of Greater Rochester – the only program of its kind in the Greater Rochester region – delivers free, temporary childcare during family emergencies, including (but not limited to): medical emergencies, unexpected illness, accidents, unemployment, mental health episodes, unexpected death, domestic violence, homelessness, legal issues, unstable/unsafe housing.

Care when it matters most

The only program of its kind in New York State, the Crisis Nursery delivers emergency care to babies and children during family crises while addressing poverty by preparing young women and caregivers for employment. Instances that families and caregivers may utilize the nursery include: family and emergency medical emergencies, unexpected illness, accidents, unemployment, mental health episodes, unexpected death, domestic violence, homelessness, legal issues, unstable/unsafe housing.

In additional to childcare at no-cost, families and caregivers have access to a resource navigator, providing referrals to community resources that can deliver permanent assistance. The Crisis Nursery cares for more than 2,000 babies and children annually.

The Crisis Nursery includes two facilities; one on the west side of the city of Rochester on Genesee Park Blvd and Owen’s House, located in the northeast quadrant of Rochester on Rosewood Terrace. Both locations are located less than 2 miles from major health care medical systems.

Both Crisis Nursery locations are open 24/7 365 days year and staffed by The Center for Youth and volunteers.

Genesee Park blvd Nursery

The Genesee Park Boulevard home is located less than one mile from the University of Rochester Medical Center and Ronald McDonald House, and the Rosewood Terrace is less than two miles from Rochester General Hospital.

Owen's House Nursery

Owen’s House is located on Rosewood Terrace, in the northeast Beechwood neighborhood of the City of Rochester, Owen’s House opened in the Spring of 2018, allowing us the ability to increase access to crucial services during a families time of need.

Owen’s House is named in honor of Owen Thomas the son of  Chris Thomas and Catherine Cerulli, co-founders of the Crisis Nursery. It is the wish of Owen’s family that Owen’s House be more than a structure, more than a program, but the legacy of a young man whose impact on this community has yet to be completely discovered.

Owen’s House is a safe place, a place of incredible love and security for hundreds of babies and young children.

Like Owen Thomas himself, this little house on Rosewood Terrace will be full of dreams.

Emergency Shelter

The Center for Youth’s 24-hour Emergency Shelter serves nearly 300 youth in Monroe County each year. A shelter is a place where homeless and runaway youth who have few options can feel heard and respected and find safe housing. The Center is welcoming to all youth and strives to provide services that are respectful of the many cultural, ethnic, religious, and LGBT identities youth represent.

Who We Serve

The 13-bed shelter serves youth, 12-17 years old, for up to 30 days. It is free, confidential and voluntary. For youth between 12 and 15 years old, it is the only free and voluntary option in the Rochester community.

How to Access the Shelter

Call our 24-hour hotline at (585) 271-7670 or visit The Center for Youth (905 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY 14620.)

What to Expect

Each young person first meets with one of our counselors to discuss whether the emergency shelter is appropriate and necessary. The Center for Youth counselors assist youth in finding natural supports within their family, encourage family counseling and provide resources and referrals whenever possible. Emergency Shelter may become an option for youth who:

All youth who stay at the shelter must sign the Client Rights and Responsibilities Agreement.

We provide for each youth’s basic needs, including nutritional meals, clothing and hygiene items; transportation and arrangements for continued school attendance or employment; an allowance through an in-house work incentive program; and attention to medical needs.

Counseling, case management, and prevention education services are provided to assist youth in problem-solving, action planning and skill building.
Host Homes

In some cases, youth will be placed into one of our host homes in Monroe County. Each host family is screened, trained and New York State Certified.

Safe Harbour

Our Safe Harbour team provides case coordination and advocacy for commercially sexually exploited (CSE) youth. We help youth access medical care, mental health counseling, financial assistance, emergency shelter and other basic living and safety needs.

Youth Services

The commercial sexual exploitation of children is a global problem and one that impacts children in our own communities. The Center for Youth’s Safe Harbour Program works with partners across Monroe County to promote awareness of youth trafficking and identify and provide comprehensive services to potential victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

The Center’s Safe Harbour team spearheads community collaboration that increases awareness of and direct services to young victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking of youth is a global problem and one that impacts communities across Monroe County.

The young people Safe Harbour serves are often homeless or living in unstable, unhealthy situations. Our program is making significant strides against youth trafficking and helping children survive unimaginable crimes.

Agency Services

Our Safe Harbour team provides case coordination and advocacy for commercially sexually exploited (CSE) youth. We help youth access medical care, mental health counseling, financial assistance, emergency shelter and other basic living and safety needs.

We also help youth with crisis intervention, problem-solving, action planning, and skill building. The goal is to address immediate life and safety issues and reduce the risk of continued sexual exploitation and abuse.

Safe Harbour advocates provide outreach and training to agencies and community partners across Monroe County to:


The Safe Harbour program is named after the pivotal 2008 New York State legislation – Safe Harbour for Exploited Children Act – that ended the prosecution of minors under prostitution charges and instead identified minors as victims of commercial sexual exploitation by adults. In 2012-13, Monroe County was selected as one of five counties across the state to receive funds to support the Safe Harbour program. As an experienced homeless and runaway youth provider, The Center for Youth has served as the county’s Safe Harbour lead agency in collaboration with the Monroe County Department of Human Services, the Office of Children and Family Services, County District Attorney and Sheriff’s offices, Rochester and other local police departments, school districts and youth services organizations.

Street Outreach

The Street Outreach Program provides on-the-street services, including crises and survival care and referral information to street youth in an attempt to increase their personal safety and encourage them to partner with us to leave the streets for a more stable living environment.

Counselors build trusting relationships and provide needed survival supplies such as food, clothing, basic medical attention, and Emergency Shelter. Other services include Education, Counseling, and Referrals to assist youth in leaving the streets.


The Nook is a small food and supply cupboard at our main offices. Our young people have easy access to non-perishable foods, hygiene items, and household supplies. In conjunction with The Nook, staff and volunteers deliver education and life skills focused on nutrition, cooking and grocery shopping budgets.

To ensure The Nook is full year round, we ask friends and community businesses, churches and organizations to “Adopt a Shelf.” Each partner who wants to help is assigned a product or products to collect and donate regularly. Call (585) 473-2464 or email to adopt a shelf.

For information on the emergency needs of The Nook click here.

Permanent & Transitional Housing

We house youth in need, both long-term and short-term, through the following programs:

Extended Host Home Program
Chrysalis House
New Beginning House
The Arnett House – LGBTQ and trafficked homeless youth
Transitional Living Program apartments and Rapid Rehousing Program

The Transitional Living Program

The Transitional Living Program (TLP) at The Center for Youth delivers case management and/or housing services to youth who are living in unstable conditions or who are homeless. The goal of the program is to help young men and women, 16-21, become self-sufficient and transition into stable housing. The Center is welcoming to all youth and strives to provide services that are respectful of the many cultural, ethnic, religious, and GLBT identities youth represent. TLP includes:
Chrysalis House

The Chrysalis House provides a beautiful living environment for young women who may be pregnant or have children for up to 18 months. The program has the capacity to serve six mothers with two additional beds for young women who are pregnant or who do not have children. We guide each woman as she assesses her needs and develops a plan to reach goals for self-sufficiency. The residents are actively involved in seeking educational programs and vocational and employment opportunities. Chrysalis House is a place where young mothers can make transformational decisions that positively impact themselves and their children under the guidance and support of a dedicated and nurturing staff.

The Transitional Living Program apartments provide safe housing for both young men and women. Each resident develops goals and carries out a plan to become independent. On a weekly basis, residents meet with their case managers and also attend life-skills workshops. Young people in non-residential TLP meet with their case managers twice a month to develop and achieve goals for independence.

All TLP services provide case management services, which include:

Advocacy: Case managers help clients navigate the systems such as the Department of Health and Human Services, other agencies and programs and Social Security. Case managers help clients communicate with professionals to overcome social and cultural barriers.

Life Skills: Case managers provide clients with skills such as budgeting, time management, developing short- and long-term goals and communication.

Resources: The Chrysalis House and Residential programs provide bus passes and grocery gift cards on a regular basis to participants who do not already receive these via other means. Case managers connect non-residential clients to community resources to fulfill their needs.

Empowerment: Case managers provide clients with tools (life skills) and resources, so they can feel confident, knowledgeable and capable of success.

Encouragement: Through regular meetings, case managers encourage and motivate clients to work on their goals and focus on the individual steps required to achieve goals. Goals might include graduating from high school, passing the GED and preparing for and gaining employment.

Agency Resources and Services: Case managers connect their clients to any appropriate services at The Center for Youth or other agencies so that clients are supported and have access to the services they need.

New Beginning House

The Center opened the New Beginning House in 2015 to provide housing and comprehensive supports to young men who may have been homeless or disconnected from traditional supports. The independent living residence aides them on their journeys toward self-sufficiency while helping them strengthen permanent connections with family and community.
Who We Serve

The multi-unit house serves six young men, 18-21, with two residents living in each apartment. The young men are finishing high school or vocational program, preparing to take their Test Assessing Secondary Completion (formerly the GED), and/or seeking employment.

Services Provided

Most young men will stay for up to six months but will have the opportunity to stay longer if they are in the process of finishing high school.

The New Beginning House program prepares young men to live on their own, reengages them in the community and empowers them to make healthy, educated life choices.

Download the New Beginnings brochure

LGBTQ Youth Homelessness

Through a continuum of support, education and advocacy, The Center for Youth has been working to address homelessness and reduce victimization of Rochester youth for over 45 years. Our youth-driven approach meets the needs of our area’s most vulnerable by setting them on a course for stability and self-sufficiency.

Youth susceptible to homelessness most-often identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer (LGBTQ). Each year, 1.6 million youth experience homelessness. Up to 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, yet only make up 7% of the general youth population – these numbers are disproportionately high. The disparity of homeless LGBTQ youth is troubling – they are at greater risk for victimization, sex trafficking, unsafe sexual practices, mental health issues and more.

LGBTQ youth homelessness occurs for a variety of reasons, including the intersection of homophobia & transphobia, poverty, failed systems, family poverty & abuse and more.

The Center for Youth provides emergency shelters, transitional & permanent housing, referrals, advocacy and more. And just as we’ve done for over 45 years, we stand by the side of our LGBTQ youth, ensuring a solid foundation for each young person to achieve their goals.

Download the Arnett House information sheet

Host Homes

The Host Home Program is comprised of Individuals or families that provide a home-based emergency and/or longer-term housing option for young pregnant or parenting people in our community, ages 16 – 22. Intensive, wrap-around services are provided to each youth accessing the Host Home Program by a Center for Youth Case Manager.  Each Host Home Individual/Family is provided on-going training and supports by the Host Home Program Manager.

This program was introduced to provide greater opportunity for youth and Host Home Families to build supportive and authentic connections in order to increase the permanency and resiliency of these young parents. The Host Homes are voluntary for both the families and the youth at all times and are connected to the broader continuum of Center for Youth Services and ensures that homeless youth have access to a licensed, voluntary home environment, quality crisis childcare services, academic support and workforce development training – all under one umbrella.

Two Types of Host Home Services

  • Immediate Host: Short-term emergency beds for stays up to 14 days, but as short as one night.
  • Longer-term Host: This is a longer-term model of hosting a pregnant or parenting young person.

CYS operates Chrysalis House, the only transitional housing program for homeless teen mothers in our county. It is considered a Maternity Group Home Program (MGH), a 6-bed group home and Case Management model so that pregnant and parenting homeless young mothers can receive the support, guidance and opportunities they need to develop self-assurance in order to create healthy, successful lives.

Download the Host Homes Information sheet


Need help now? Call our crisis line.

24 Hour Crisis Line


This form is for non-emergencies and is not checked daily. If you are in crisis, please call the crisis line at 585-271-7670. Please use the form below for general non-emergent inquiries. 

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