How We Help

Our Commitment to Your Success

At the 412 Youth Zone you'll find a group of people dedicated to supporting you on your journey to success. From the very beginning you’ll be paired with a Youth Zone coach who will be there to help you each step of the way. Together, focusing on your strengths and interests, you’ll create a plan to reach your unique goals and dreams.

When you’re not meeting with your YZ coach, you can access all types of resources at our Drop-In Center. Wash some clothes, grab a meal, socialize, or record some songs in our YZ music studio. Looking to pick up some new skills? Sign up for one of our many group activities. From cooking workshops to driving lessons, there’s no shortage of opportunities to learn something new.

At the Youth Zone, our goal is to help you thrive in all areas of your life. Here are the different ways we can help:

There are lots of ways the 412 Youth Zone can help you find or maintain a safe place to live. We can connect you with a shelter, guide you in conversations with your landlord, assist with the maintenance and upkeep of your house or apartment, provide short-term rental support or utility support, help furnish your space, assist in locating a safe and affordable rental, aid you in budgeting, and/or applying for subsidized housing.

Room & Board Program
Are you looking to move into your own apartment? You may be eligible for our Room and Board Program. Through this program, the Youth Zone will assist with your rent payments for the first 5 months. Reach out to your coach to see if you qualify.  

Our education coordinator is here to help you meet your education goals. We can assist with GED prep, obtaining your high school diploma, credit recovery, or finding a tutor. You’ll find opportunities to check out different careers and have chances to visit trade schools and colleges. We also work with DHS’ Education Liaisons to meet your specific academic goals.

Looking for a fun way to enhance your critical thinking? Check out our monthly trivia night or News You Can Use discussion group.

To get in touch with our education coordinator, email

Our aim is to help you land a job you love. To do that, we offer mock interviews, help with resume writing, and filling out job applications. We can also assist you in finding an outfit for an interview or getting the uniform or supplies required for a specific career. Additionally, the YZ staff can connect you with job training, employment opportunities, and trade schools.

Once you’ve been hired, our team can also help navigate taxes or work situations like how to talk to your supervisor, resolving peer conflict in the workplace, requesting time off, and addressing any other workplace challenges.

At the Youth Zone you’ll find all sorts of opportunities to learn new skills to help you take the next step in your life. Your YZ coach will connect you with programming and supports that align with your personal goals and needs. Many life skills can be worked on directly with your coach in a setting that makes the most sense for you.
Examples of our YZ life skills supports and workshops:

  • Cooking
  • Relationship building
  • Financial literacy
  • Renter preparedness
  • Laundry
  • Hygiene
  • Self-care
  • Mental health & wellbeing
  • Literacy
  • Critical thinking
  • Mock interviews & job readiness
  • Drivers Ed
  • Time management
  • Apartment upkeep
  • Professional development
  • Self-advocacy  
  • And more

Our team is also here to help you secure vital documents including a birth certificate, social security card, and state ID.

At the Drop-In Center, you have access to UPMC clinicians for your medical need. To find out when a doctor or nurse will be on-site, check out our program calendar.

Additionally, UPMC nurses and other community partners offer opportunities to learn about different health topics ranging from maintaining healthy relationships to LGBTQ specific needs.

Other resources include:

  • Physicals and TB testing
  • Therapy services
  • Support for substance use
The Youth Zone offers two different types of stipends: need-based and participation-based.

Need-Based Stipends
These stipends are available for needs that come up as you transition to living independently. These stipends made in the form of a payment or purchase on your behalf by a member of our staff.

How to Get a Need-Based Stipend
First, you’ll need to fill out a stipend request form. Once it’s received, the form goes through a review process. When approved, your coach will reach out and work with you to make the purchase.

Participation-Based Stipends
These stipends are awarded as compensation for participation in programs pre-identified by the Youth Zone.
How to Get a Participation-Based Stipend
After successfully participating in an approved program, you’ll be awarded your stipend.

We’re dedicated to supporting young parents by providing resources created specifically for your unique needs. The Youth Zone is equipped with a child watch area for parents. In this space you’ll find books and developmental toys for you and your little ones to engage with together. We also offer many activities and outings specifically for parents and children to spend time bonding, learning, and creating memories together.

Get Connected

Contact a coach, get plugged in, or find answers to your questions.

Contact Us