Community Resource

Acenda Integrated Health

(844) 422-3632

Steps Towards Independence


Steps Towards Independence (STI) is a transitional, supportive housing program that assists homeless youth, especially youth leaving the child welfare system, with life skills and support services to make a successful transition to self-sufficient living and to prevent long-term dependency on social services.


All youth are 18 – 20 at the time of acceptance.

Youth without viable housing who demonstrate a willingness and ability to make good use of supportive services, demonstrate ability to function independently in a supportive setting, have an interest in achieving stability, and do not present a danger to themselves and others.  Examples of ineligible youth include:  youth with an adverse criminal conviction in the past five years, youth who have been prescribed psychiatric medications and are not medication compliant, youth with cognitive impairments which could impede their ability to fully comprehend and participate in program objectives and goals, and youth who are eligible for the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).

While the program will accept youth state-wide, priority will be given to Salem County youth.


Referrals may come from a number of sources, including DCPP, transitional and independent living programs, community agencies, and homeless shelters. Referring agencies or youth must contact the Adolescent Housing HUB at 1-877-652-7624 to gain access to the program.


1) Housing- The program will provide safe, supportive living accommodations and supportive services for seven (7) residents.   

2) Life Skill development- assists residents in developing both the life-skills and the personal characteristics needed to enable them to live independently.

3) Educational/ vocational component- assists residents in re-entering school, and/or pursuing higher and vocational education.

4) Career planning/employment component- assists residents to obtain/maintain viable employment.

5) Physical/mental health component- assists residents with appropriate referrals and access to medical and mental health treatment. 

6) Youth engagement- assists residents with the opportunity and a voice to give feedback regarding policy and services as well as allowing the resident to give input into the changes in agency and program procedures.

7) Transportation - The Independent Living Coordinators will teach each resident the skills needed to access public transportation.


On average, the length of stay is between 12 and 18 months.  Youth must discharge from program prior to their 21st birthday. 

Adolescent Community Resource Specialist

(844) 422-3632 x 1217   

Email: [email protected]

Age Groups
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
Community Services
Basic Needs / Assistance

Last Updated: 11/19/19