Meet JRI's Service Navigator

Our Navigator personally answers questions and talks with you about resources that may be available in the community to meet your individualized needs. If you have any questions about our programs or services, or aren't sure what you need, contact our Service Navigator, Rachel Arruda, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.

Services

YouthHarbors

The YouthHarbors program serves homeless, unaccompanied high school students who statistically are 87% more likely than their housed peers to drop out of high school.

Grad Caps
At a Glance
This service is for
Focus: YouthHarbors provides them with housing assistance, an adult support network, and individualized life skillsdevelopment lessons so they can find safety in appropriate housing, graduate high school, and break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
Age: 18-24
Gender: All students
Capacity: We accept referrals from all of its partner high schools.
Let's Connect
Dave Dorvilier
Program Director
555 Amory Street, Suite 300
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 270-3934
Who we serve

YouthHarbors' youth are ambitious, hard-working students who are determined to complete their high school education and become productive members of society. This is difficult, however, when they are trapped in a "survival mode" that threatens their ability to concentrate in school and depletes their energy because of worries relating to where they will spend the next night or how they will get food.

YouthHarbors works to ensure that these youth are safely housed so they can concentrate on school, and that they are given all the tools and skills they need to be able to focus on their future and achieve success.

The YouthHarbors program works because it operates with a dynamic, can-do attitude and meets youth where they are, using a wrap-around service delivery model to meet each youth's individual needs.

Leadership

Dave Dorvilier received his Master's in Social Work from Boston College and is currently a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. He has worked with homeless families in Boston with scattered sites housing young adult men with complex trauma in residential settings with a goal of independent living, and in-home family therapy with families in the community setting. He is currently the Program Director for YouthHarbors which partners with six schools to stabilize (housing, warmth, case management, general basic needs) homeless and unaccompanied youth, between the ages of 18 to 21, to graduate and successfully transition to post-secondary education (college, certificate programs, trade school) and/or enter the workforce with confidence.

Dave Dorvilier

 

Participating High Schools

YouthHarbors could not exist without our valuable partnerships with the following high schools:

  • Malden High School (pilot YouthHarbors program, 2009)
  • Everett High School (opened in 2010)
  • Boston Day and Evening Academy (BDEA) (2012).
  • Somerville High School (2013)
  • Jerimiah Burke High School (2015)
  • Lowell High School (2015)
Partnerships

Our partnerships allow us to support each other's efforts to alleviate the challenges of homelessness. Our staff has an office in each high school, where students may be referred or may come on their own to speak with us. The schools are able to identify students who are in need of the YouthHarbors program and refer them to us, and we work together to provide the students with whatever career and counseling, housing, and basic necessities in order to help them thrive.

In his early teens, John’s parents passed away and left him to live with his older brother and his family. In John’s senior year of high school, his brother’s wife became pregnant with twins, and the family abruptly needed a bigger apartment. They found an affordable apartment that fit their scarce budget, but it was in another city. John knew the move meant he would need to uproot himself and switch school districts halfway through his senior year. He also feared that he would quickly become a burden to his brother's growing family so he decided to stay behind, even though he knew he would have no place to live. Without a safe home base, John struggled to adapt and had trouble focusing on his schooling. After being connected with YouthHarbors, John was placed with a host family in Malden so that he could finish the school year in his own school and graduate in his own community. He received help with finding a job, learned how to budget and save, and received a subsidy so he was able to work part-time and also devote time to his studies. Today, John has successfully graduated from high school, works at a retirement home, owns his own scooter, has a bank account, and even sends money to relatives in need.
Our model

YouthHarbors begins with the identification of a high school student who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Students are deemed eligible for the program based solely on the criteria of being unaccompanied and homeless.

Housing

YouthHarbors staff works to find the student stable, long-term housing once immediate shelter needs are met. Housing options range from housing with extended family or friends to finding an apartment with suitable roommates, but a student can occasionally be placed with a host family.

Individualized Life Skills Workshops

These workshops are individually tailored to each student, vary widely, and can include workshops that are:

  • Career-Oriented: Finding a job, writing a resume, or improving interview skills.
  • Domestic: Cooking food safely, maintaining an apartment, doing laundry, managing and negotiating roommate relationships.
  • Academic: Planning educational goals, connecting with academic tutors.
  • Financial: Managing a budget, paying bills on time, learning to save for the future.

The program is flexible so as to meet the unique needs of each homeless youth. Clients generally stay in the program for a total of 6 to 12 months, after which they are eligible for Rediscovery's alumni services.

Request More Information

For assistance determining which programs or services will meet your individualized need, please fill out the form below. If you have a question regarding a particular program, please contact the Program Director listed in the “Let’s Connect” box above.

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