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Office of Youth Alternatives
History of Youth Alternatives
"We care” has been the guiding principle of the Office of Youth Alternatives for over 36 years. Youth Alternatives began in 1971 with a federal grant of $10,600, a staff of one and ten volunteers. The current program is a department of the City of Cheyenne and is funded through a combination of City, State and school district monies, has a staff of 15 and a strong corps of volunteers who share their homes, time and love. Although many changes have occurred, the challenge remains the same: to continually move forward with the idea of people helping people.

Program Overview
Youth Alternatives is a family-centered program that is designed to respond to the needs of troubled youth and their families. The program intervenes in the lives of young people at an impressionable stage in their growth and helps them see themselves as better people and the world as less hostile. We intervene in a young person’s life before inappropriate behaviors have become solidified. As a result, their ability to explore new, more appropriate behaviors is increased.

We teach families to take a risk. To support them in risk taking, we strengthen five primary areas in the family:
  • Communication
  • Self-concept
  • Handling differences
  • Expectations
  • Problem solving
Youth Alternatives provides services to young people ages 5-18, experiencing a variety of problems from severe emotional and behavioral problems to minor growing up issues. Young people are referred by schools, parents, law enforcement, courts, and many others.