The Transitional Independent Living Program provides free housing for Young Men ages 18-24, who find themselves homeless due to family crisis, lack of affordable housing or do not have the basic abilities to be self sufficient. Our adult staff teach Life Skills and Life Steps to residents in our home-like setting, giving them a holistic approach to help the youth grow in Body, Mind and Spirit. It allows them a safe home-like setting to develop skills and attributes that will help them to become independent, while furthering their education and working on more long-term goals. There is no cost for basic needs, food, clothing, and case management. The only requirement is a willingness to work on one’s life, respect the dignity and rights of others, and adherence to the guidelines of the program. Young men are welcomed from, Erie County, Western New York, and beyond. Adult mentors are on site 24/7. All residents work with our case manager to develop an individual service plan with short and long-term goals. With an emphasis on Body, Mind and Spirit, most residents continue on in school, obtain employment, or both. The Independent Living Skills and Life Steps instruction are hallmarks of the programs and include the essential training techniques for everyday living. Each resident works closely with staff on his case management. Appropriate referrals are made as needed to assist with supports for such issues as substance abuse, mental health, medical or other personal issues.

Life Skills

These Life Skills Materials are available at the Franciscan Center


Identifying luxuries vs. necessities, budgeting, banks & services, credit, income taxes, payroll deductions, debts


Deals with shopping, planning meals, cookbooks, meal preparation, food bargains, food spoilage, table manners, basic nutrition


Daily hygiene & products, skin care, clothes care, laundry machines & ironing


Covers exercise/physical fitness, common

health problems, medical & dental insurance, doctors/appointments, medicine, drugs/alcohol/tobacco, counseling, Parenting education


Contains comprehensive information on the best ways for youth to prepare to find a quality job with detailed instruction dealing with: job search, practice interviews and applications.


Helps youth deal with important areas of job tasks & responsibilities, employee benefits, criticism & discipline, wages/salaries/overtime, grievance procedures, employee rights


Informs youth of their legal rights & responsibilities, lawyer/court process, contracts & leases, arrests, misdemeanors & felonies, citizenship & voting


Has sessions on parks and recreation, public library, Better Business Bureau, Bureau of Vital Statistics, specialized resources


Covers house cleaning, house maintenance, conserving energy, household repairs, outside maintenance


Teaches youth ways to find affordable housing, startup housing costs, landlord responsibilities & tenant rights, neighbors


Assists youth in handling everyday conversations, interactions, community services setting goals, social skills, time management, solving conflicts, anger management, peer pressure, stress management, assertiveness, decision making, bullying, hate issues, violence/gangs


Helps youth sort out educational & vocational opportunities, career planning, educational forms/loans/grants, GED prep, basic computer skills


Helps acquaint youth with the city’s bus tokens/passes & taxi, bicycle safety/maintenance, car purchase & insurance, maps & travel agencies, airline & train travel


Covers fire prevention & evacuation, storing cleaning materials, first aid, emergency services

Life Steps

These Life Steps are available at The Franciscan Center to help youth learn emotional maturity.

The ABCs of Emotional Intelligence

This vital program outlines the key elements of emotional intelligence – Assets, Balance, and Character – as students discover they have the power to bounce back, balance emotional and academic demands, and make positive choices.

Knowing Who You Are/Values

Self-knowledge, the most fundamental life skill, is promoted as teens learn how to reflect on their own behavior, learn from experience, develop integrity, moral and spiritual character to develop a good value system.

Taking Charge

This critical program builds the emotional skills of responsibility as students integrate the fundamentals of self-control: taking charge of their emotions, coping with stress, avoiding impulsive behavior, developing self-discipline, and managing anger.

Bouncing Back

In this indispensable program, students learn the essentials of resiliency: how to identify internal strengths and external support, build perseverance, and maintain a positive sense of self-worth and optimism. The complex issues of depression and suicidal thoughts are also explored.

Empathy, Caring and Compassion

Students explore the critical skills that make up empathy: the importance of compassion and the moral imperative to help others in need – particularly the victims of bullying.

Creative Problem Solving

This central video presents the LifeSteps Eight Point Problem-Solving Program, which teaches teens how to identify problems, deal with them forthrightly, brainstorm creative options, and choose positive solutions.

Building Character

Teens develop the elements of good character as they learn to navigate complicated dilemmas of adolescence: what to do when friends are making bad choices about drugs, stealing, lying to parents, and drinking and driving. Moving portraits of courage and will power are spotlighted.


This program fosters respect as the fundamental value of democracy in a diverse society. Barriers to respect, such as prejudice and bigotry, are explored as students learn that empathy and respect are the basis of all healthy relationships.


Teens master the first rule of responsibility: to do no harm to themselves or others as they confront difficult choices about sex. Dependability and trustworthiness are championed as students learn to ask themselves the guiding question: What is the most important thing I need to be doing right now?

Developing Healthy Relationships

Teens learn to build their own personal support system, recognize true friends, and develop positive refusal skills. This program also advances the critical skill of negotiating with parents.

Doing Your Best

This inspirational program instills the essential skills of success: motivation, commitment, goal setting, persistence, and the power of self-confidence and optimism. An appreciation of excellence is stressed.

Resident Outcome Data 2016

Life Skills Achievements

19 NYS ID obtained
10 Education activity
19 Job preparation lesson
9 Working currently
19 Money management lessons
11 Debt currently
16 Budget established
7 Bank actively
11 Legal issues
14 Housing cost lessons
15 Health Insurance currently
24 Plan/preparing meals
22 Physical fitness activity
24 Personal Care – hygiene, laundry, household lessons

Life Step Achievements

7 Drug /Alcohol Counseling
5 Mental Health Counseling
24 Adult mentor active / Case Management
23 Goals set short/long
23 Organized daily routine
23 Planned weekly schedule
18 Spiritual exploration
24 Study/quiet time
20 Decision making lessons
16 Quality relationships
24 Time management lessons
22 Emotional maturity/social interactions

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