At Home


  • 59% of homeless youth surveyed said being locked out or told to leave led in part to their homelessness
  • 61% cited frequent fights at home as a contributing factor
  • Many youth report not being able to discuss problems with their parents


Our Response

Through our Children’s Crisis Response, we provide 24/7 counseling, visiting families at home to work through emergency conflicts with their children and helping them build skills to effectively address future conflicts.
99% of the youth crises we responded to were de-escalated without police involvement, hospitalization, or removing the child from the home. 


Through our Children's Crisis Response program, immediate support for young people and their families is a just a phone call away. 24 hours a day. 365 days a year.

Any Ramsey County family can call us -- at any hour, of any day -- when their adolescent is experiencing a mental health, behavioral, or situational crisis and they need additional support.

We help families weather the crises without police intervention, hospitalization, or out-of-home placement- avoiding the lasting negative effects of those severe measure on our youth, not to mention the costs to taxpayers.

Our approach also invests in long-term family health to avoid a revolving door of family conflict and creating healthier family dynamics for generations.

  • We field crisis calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • We de-escalate the immediate crisis, referring families to services, visiting their home immediately to intervene and/or coaching families on a short-term solution.
  • We schedule follow up visits to help families constructively address the underlying issues and build skills and a plan to manage conflicts more safely and effectively moving forward.

The safety net we provide catches both the young people and their families. Through our efforts, families that feel frustrated, defeated, and alone find the strength and resolve to continue functioning as a family.

“St. Paul Youth Services not only helps my family work through our problems, they renewed my strength and resolve as a parent.

-St. Paul Youth Services program participant

One Child’s Story

Carlos is a 14-year old Mexican-American young man referred to Children’s Crisis Response (CCR) by his mother.  She was concerned that he was spending time with a gang, not listening to her, missing school and getting low grades.

At first, Carlos would not meet with CCR staff but changed his mind when he could talk with one who spoke Spanish. Carlos first told our staff that he hung out with gang members to have protection against ‘bullies’.  After some conversations, he shared that he was feeling very sad and alone because he had not seen his father since he was three and missed him very much. The gang gave him a feeling of belonging.  Carlos’s mother had told us she came here with her son to escape his father’s physical and emotional abuse.  The move to the United States confused Carlos; he did not understand why he had to leave his Mexican home and he had many questions about his father.  Carlos resented his mother for taking him away from his father.  He did not listen to her rules, would come and go whenever he wanted and started spending more time with his peers.

The tensions between parent and son were becoming worse. We helped Carlos find a professional with whom he could talk about his sadness and loneliness in missing his father and to figure out how to get along better with his mother.  We also arranged for a life skills worker to meet with him to help him find ways to handle his anger issues. Carlos and his mother found positive ways to overcome their losses in moving to the United States.  He and his mother came to an agreement on his curfew and he began attending school regularly.  In addition, Carlos now had positive male adults connecting with him instead of relying on gang members for a feeling of belonging. Submitted by Bryan Vue and Margaret Houston, Children’s Crisis Response Clinicians