The philosophies and concepts behind the service design of the STAY draw from both evidence-based and evidence-informed best practices. STAY utilizes principles from the Transition to Independence model (TIP) for working with TAY; the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP); and Assertive Community Treatment (ACT). Additionally, co-occurring disorders are normative in this population, and therefore all staff receives education in concepts related to co-occurring complexity such as Motivational Interviewing. Individually designed services support participants to gain the skills, knowledge, and abilities to move successfully into adult life. Through their engagement in program services, participants learn to imagine and develop aspirations for the future. Our staff work with participants to establish a collaborative relationship and develop a service plan that centers around demonstrated needs, motivation, and attainable life goals. Staff provides a wide variety of supportive services designed to promote participant stability in their own community: mental health services; medication support; vocational/employment support and skills building; and educational and health linkages are all important elements of a comprehensive treatment. To support participants with gaining employment, STAY utilizes the Individual Placement and Supports (IPS) model to assist participants with accessing and maintaining competitive employment within their communities.
The target population for Supportive Services for Transition Aged Youth (STAY) program includes young adults ages 18 through 24 living in north and central Alameda County, who are grappling with the challenges of unstable housing as well as symptoms of severe and persistent mental illness; substance abuse; low self-esteem; limited social and anger management skills; high risk for exposure to HIV and other STD infections; and have experienced a high rate of violent-crime victimization and school failure. STAY receives referrals through the Transition Age Team, a county-facilitated meeting that designates authorization for enrollment into county based Transition Aged Youth (TAY) programs including STAY. STAY also receives direct inquiries from the community, family, criminal justice system, and TAY seeking support on their own behalf.