TreeHouse Young Adult Transitional Living Program


For over 50 years, United Way of Delaware County (UWDC) has been a community problem solver and change maker. Serving the fastest-growing county in the state, the UWDC strives to keep up with a changing community and fill existing gaps. Priorities are identified through community research and analysis, and the UWDC is strategic about the funds distributed through collective impact initiatives. Focus areas include:

  • education through programs and services that help children and youth achieve their potential
  • increased access to quality childcare and early childhood education
  • youth mentoring programs and after-school programs
  • advocacy for abused and neglected children

Youth & Family Support

In 2017, UWDC, in partnership with Delaware City Schools, opened the Strengthening Families Hub at a community school facility. This hub is a one-stop social service center for families in crisis but also serves as an enrichment center for teens that need a safe place to build positive relationships, get food, complete homework and grow interests in art, books, science and running among many other opportunities. Under one roof, we have a food pantry, diaper bank, mental health center, teen room, STEM education center, free store, rent and utility assistance, free school supplies and visiting partners such as JFS, medical clinics and more.

Transitional Housing Need

For the past five years, UWDC has been working with local school districts, the Juvenile Courts, Jobs and Family Services, mental health board and others as we have struggled to find limited housing resources for young adults (18-24).  Some of these young adults have aged out of foster care or find it difficult to live with addicted and/or violent caregivers. Others are kicked out due to a lack of resources within the home or their sexual orientation.  The result is young adults sleeping in cars, living off the land, or "couch surfing" -- finding a different warm place to sleep each night. The lack of stable housing makes it difficult to find a steady job, regularly attend school, and learn the skills needed to have a productive and healthy future.

From its Youth Risk Behavior Survey taken in 2019-2020, there are over four hundred youth in Delaware County in this age group that are at risk of not having a place to live or being homeless.

UWDC has surveyed representatives from the Juvenile court system, the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, the Delaware City Police Department, Jobs and Family Services, local school districts, and its nonprofit partners in the county. Initial results indicate that, out of 23 agencies that deal directly with children and families, on average they have seen over 25 young persons, ages 18-24 who did not have stable housing in the past three years. While 30% of respondents felt the need for youth housing was staying the same, over 70% of respondents have seen the need increase. In addition to safe transitional housing, additional critical factors to consider and include in program design are supportive services, mentorship, counseling, job training, reliable transportation, and affordable housing options upon leaving the transitional space.


In addition to convening local conversations over the past several years, the UWDC has researched, met with, and traveled to similar transitional housing programs in other communities to learn from and collaborate with best-practice peers. Leadership team members visited much larger communities, such as Daybreak in Dayton along with Marsh Brook Place and The Carol Stewart Village in Columbus. The team also toured smaller communities including Wood Pointe in Richwood and Next Step in Geauga. Leadership was able to learn best practices regarding the intake process, resident policies, resident agreements, key design elements, security elements, operating budgets, and key services to offer. Through this process, the UWDC decided that dorm-style living would best meet the current needs of residents, rather than a larger building with efficiency apartments.   

To provide the best care, the UWDC identified key needs of a property including that the space is within walking distance to Ohio Wesleyan, downtown Delaware, and United Way's Strengthening Families hub, making wrap-around resources readily available to young adults in their care. After a robust search, the UWDC was presented with the opportunity to purchase a house in July of 2022, located at 104 Oak Hill Avenue in Delaware. It is a 3,300-square-foot home with five bedrooms and four bathrooms. The property will be staffed 24/7 with trained case managers that will walk with clients through each step of their transition to independent living.  Renovations are expected to be completed by March of 2023 when youth can move into the building. The average length of stay will vary based on the needs of each individual. Based on peer benchmarking we expect this to be anywhere between three to 24 months, depending on the situation. 

Campaign Overview

UWDC is embarking upon a $775,000 capital campaign to purchase and renovate a property to be utilized for Youth Transitional housing for ages 18-24. The campaign will consist of $470,000 to purchase the building and $305,000 for repairs and modifications to accommodate the intended living model. It will provide transitional housing for five youth at a time, though some may stay for just a few months and others may need up to 24 months in the house. The UWDC will provide support and case management services to approximately 40 individuals on an annual basis and will provide direct housing support to between 12-15 residents annually, depending on the length of stay per individual. This home will welcome and serve all ethnicity, races, genders, and the LBGTQ+ community. Typically, the individuals who are in most need of this program are the most marginalized members of a community and are anticipated to represent a more diverse subset of Delaware County's demographics. The UWDC will staff the building 24 hours a day and ensure the safety and wraparound services of youth in their care.

Campaign Leadership

United Way's 12-member governing board will be leading the campaign efforts with the support of the Women’s Leadership Network and various community partners:


Board Member Campaign Leadership




President of Sales

Evolve Logistics




SVP of Human Resources & Communications

Verso Corp.




Head, Service Back Office

Mettler Toledo




Relationship Development Manager

Richwood Bank




Assistant Principal

Rutherford B. Hayes HS



President and CEO





Real Estate Construction and Facilities Leader





SVP, Deputy General Counsel

Cardinal Health




SVP & CTO Marketing & Enterprise Applications

Nationwide Insurance




Vice President

Bank of America




VP, Sr Business Banker

Huntington National Bank




CPA, Senior Manager

Blue and Co.


WLN Campaign Leadership




VP Human Resources

Nationwide Insurance



Campaign Budget

Building Purchase: $470,000

Renovations: $305,000



Since our beginnings, UWDC has adapted to meet the transforming needs of the community. Now the biggest unmet need is housing for vulnerable youth in the community. The UWDC is currently embarking upon a $775,000 capital campaign to purchase and renovate a home to serve as transitional housing for up to five youth, aged 18-24, experiencing housing insecurity in Delaware County. As Delaware County continues to grow, the UWDC is working to ensure that no one is left behind. Please join us in this important effort.