The late teens and early 20s can be key times for determining whether young men and women get on the right life path and, to help see that happen, the NC Department of Public Safety is giving Guilford County government $198,300 to help fund a transitional housing program for youths ages 18 to 21.

The money will go toward Youth Focus’ “HEARTH Transitional Living Program” in the Guilford County area during the current fiscal year, which just started on July,1.

HEARTH stands for “Hope Empowerment And Resiliency Through Housing.”

Based in High Point, the program allows the youths some independence while still keeping staff support nearby as those young people learn and practice skills needed for living on their own.

This program provides transitional housing and things like help getting a high school diploma and college degree as well as vocational training and training in money management skills.

The HEARTH program was established to serve a youths between 18 and 21 “who are homeless, and because of specialized needs, require additional assistance to achieve independence.” HEARTH program has been serving clients since July 1, 2022.

Transitional housing along with living expenses and programming that teachers “independent living skills” are all provided by the program, which is expected to serve eight people between now and the end of June 2024.

The youths have an average stay in the program of 275 days.

The NC Dept. of Public Safety is taking “all responsibilities for vetting the program’s services and expenditures,” and “will disburse funds to Guilford County monthly to reimburse the Youth Focus ‘HEARTH Transitional Living Program.’”

Guilford County won’t be required to complete any monitoring or conduct any financial reviews.