A component fund of the Upper Valley Region of New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

Spectrum Youth & Family Services

Spectrum Youth & Family Services empowers teenagers, young adults, and people with a history of violence, and their families, to make and sustain positive changes through prevention, intervention, and life skills development. It is the only organization in Vermont providing all the services and support systems homeless and at-risk youth need to get their lives back on track and transition to a successful adulthood.

Spectrum is a nationally recognized leader in homeless youth programs.  We have been offering shelter and community to Vermont's homeless and at-risk youth, and their families, for 42 years

In 1970, a group of community members wanted to start a shelter that would house the growing number of at-risk youth who were running away from their foster homes. The Burlington Ecumenical Action Ministry (BEAM) teamed up with this group of concerned citizens to found SHAC, which stood for Shelter Action and later became known as Spectrum Youth & Family Services.

Spectrum has continued to grow and now offers an extensive range of crucial services for youth in our community. In 2009, Spectrum was nationally recognized as the Agency of the Year by the National Network for Youth.

What services does Spectrum provide?

Spectrum provides a continuum of services ranging from counseling to mentoring to residential living programs.  Our work with each client is tailored to the needs of the individual.  We offer:

  • Counseling
  • Drop-In Center
  • Health Clinic
  • Jump On Board for Success (JOBS)
  • Mentoring
  • Street Outreach
  • Residential Programs
  • Violence Intervention and Prevention Program
  • Youth & Family Wellness Project
  • Youth Development Program
  • Youth in Transition (YIT)

How does Spectrum help?

We work one-on-one with each young person (ages 14-21) that walks through our doors. Our philosophy is never to give up; we are their advocates, and we give youth first chances, second chances, and third chances.

"Spectrum has developed the ability to meet young people where they are, with the help they need most, and gives them a way to move successfully to the next level, until they are ready to make it in the community.”  —Spectrum donor

Grants Awarded: 

2010 - The Children's Fund grant will supply groceries at Spectrum's Drop-In Center—a safe place for youth to get off the street, eat a hot meal, take a shower, do laundry, use the phone, and talk with a case manager—allowing them to serve two hot meals to more than 30 kids each day

Grant Year(s): 

2016 Children's Fund Grantees