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Sanford Community Youth Alliance offering host family program for unhoused students

Students walking in a hallway

By Sam Bonsey, Communications Coordinator, Sanford School Dept.

Every day, an alarming number of students are unhoused for various reasons. The Sanford Community Youth Alliance (SCYA) exists to reduce and support unaccompanied youths in Sanford who attend our schools and are at risk of becoming homeless, are actively experiencing homelessness or are transitioning out of a temporary housing program.

SCYA is working to develop and train approved host families who can offer a teen a stable home environment. SCYA plans to provide resources for the host family and the student living with them.

Hosts must be at least 25 years old, have an individual bedroom in their home, undergo a criminal background check, and complete a host family application and an onsite interview. For more information, email Cyndy Pattershall at

SCYA is an advisory group comprised of community members, school personnel and people who work in the Sanford/Springvale area. They represent organizations such as the Sanford School Department, the City of Sanford, the Sanford Housing Authority, the Sanford YMCA and more. Their goals are to provide displaced youth with safe shelter expeditiously so they are able to complete their high school education, engage and support host families and help students access services that can lead in a multitude of directions for their present and future needs.

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