Transitional Living for Teen Parents

Safe and Stable Housing

The Transitional Living Program (TLP) at UAY provides safe and stable housing for homeless young people. These sites are supervised by TLP Advocates who provide support and education to help youth become independent and live on their own. The program is about support and education as much as it is about housing.

TLP has housing options in 2 types of settings: shared apartment, and scatter-site individual apartment living locations. Most youth begin in a shared apartment site.

TLP Advocates provide support and education. They also teach youth in the TLP the skills they need to live on their own. Homeless teens are eligible for residential housing assistance for up to 18 months.
Who is eligible?
  • Homeless youth 17-21 years of age
  • Priority is given to teen parents and their children
  • Young people living in Johnson, Iowa, Washington, Cedar or Muscatine Counties in Iowa.
Teens identifed as a Child In Need of Assistance (CINA) by the Iowa Courts are NOT eligible.
How It Works

TLP is not “emergency housing” or a homeless shelter for teens, but TLP staff can help homeless teens get emergency services they need, such as food, clothing and shelter.

Before young people can receive housing through the Transitional Living Program, they must complete an outreach and screening process with a TLP Advocate, which can take 6 – 8 weeks, or until an opening is available. The TLP Advocate completes the outreach step by helping the young person get emergency services, like food, clothing, and shelter. Then the TLP Advocate goes through the screening step with the youth, to see if the TLP is right for independent living. After the Advocate has done the outreach and screening process, the young person may be placed in a housing unit, if there is an opening within the Transitional Living Program.

To live in TLP housing, a young person is required to:

Complete Mental Health, Physical Health and Substance Use Assessments

  • Complete an Individualized Living Plan (youth’s goal plan)
  • Take part in an educational program and/or maintain employment
  • Abstain from using illegal drugs and alcohol
  • Attend a weekly TLP skill building group
  • Participate in two service learning projects every year
  • Pay a portion (up to 30%) of their income toward rent
  • If they are a parent, take part in family support services

While in the program, youth will learn valuable skills to successfully live independently. TLP advocates, along with local experts will provide information on:

  • Maintaining a household
  • How to handle money: budgets and credit
  • Nutrition
  • Cooking
  • Time management
  • Health, wellness and self-care
  • Career counseling
  • Finding affordable housing

Young people in the program will also have access to:

  • Mental health and substance abuse counseling
  • Healthcare services
  • Career counseling and job training
  • Support with their educational goals
  • Recreational activities

The National Runaway Safeline (NRS) has a crisis hotline (1-800-RUNAWAY) and online services (, NRS provides crisis intervention, referrals to local resources, and education and prevention services to youth, families and community members throughout the country.  For more information, visit

For more information about the Transitional Living Program contact Ally Hanten at UAY: or 319-338-7518


United Action for Youth
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 892
Iowa City, Iowa 52244
Fax: 319-337-7999

Main Office and 24 Hour Crisis Line
1700 S First Ave Suite 14

Youth Center
355 Iowa Avenue