Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
OSWEGO, NY – Tina Sherman, prevention and early intervention program manager with Oswego County Opportunities’ Youth & Family Services has announced that Melissa Crofoot has joined the staff as a rural host home specialist.
A native of Hannibal, Crofoot received an Associates Degree from Cayuga Community College and a Bachelors Degree in Public Justice from SUNY Oswego.
Having served an internship at the Oswego County Probation Department and working at the Horizon House as a youth worker, Crofoot is happy to have the opportunity to continue helping youth.
“I have always wanted to work with youth. I enjoyed my time at Oswego County Probation and Horizon House and am excited to be once again working closely with our youth,” said Crofoot.
As a rural host home youth specialist, Crofoot will be maintaining relationships with the program’s current host homes as well as recruiting additional host homes. With OCO’s Youth & Services serving more than 250 youth annually, there is always a need for host homes.
“Host homes are a key component of the work that we do with youth. We deal with youth that are quite often in crisis or at risk. The availability of host homes is essential as it provides youth with a short-term stable environment while we work to find them a more permanent home. Host homes are a win-win situation, the youth are grateful to have somewhere to stay where they feel welcome and the host home providers gain the satisfaction of knowing that they are making a difference in a young person’s life. They enjoy seeing their guest leave a better person then when they arrived,” said Crofoot.
“We are happy to have Melissa join the staff, said Sherman. “Her experiences at the Oswego County Probation and Horizon House will serve her well in her new role as rural host home youth specialist. She knows that just one night can make a difference and is looking forward to working with and expanding our host homes.”
OCO’s Youth Emergency Services (YES!) provides an array of services to runaway, homeless at at-risk youth such as emergency shelter, advocacy, and assistance with accessing other services in Oswego County.
US Department of Health and Human Services through the Rural Host Home Project Grant provides funding for OCO’s Rural Host Home program.
For more information, or to make a referral, contact their 24 / 7 Hotline at 315-342-7532 or toll free at 1-877-342-7681.