Learning to maintain a healthy home is one way VCS students practice personal accountability, learn to navigate conflict with others, and become part of a community
Job Support and Volunteering
Salt Lake City is home to an active and thriving job market for young adults who are eager to develop professional skills and experiences. VCS considers employment and volunteer opportunities to be among the most productive things a young adult could pursue during this important time of growth. Personal accountability, distress tolerance, persistence, and emotional balance are all addressed through the process of hard work and service. For this reason, VCS students are encouraged to seek and maintain part-time employment and/or volunteering as soon as they are prepared to do so. For many, this is one of the first actions taken upon enrollment, and VCS supports this effort by providing extensive coaching and skills-based exercises in the following ways:
One-on-one mentoring to discuss work experience, goals, and interests
Assistance with completing online job applications and following through on communication with potential employers
Development of personal résumé and cover letters as needed
Mock interviews to prepare for in-person meetings with potential employers
Ongoing mentoring support to address difficulties that come with employment or volunteering
Budget management skills to create and adjust weekly financial goals and obligations
Therapeutic discussion of distress tolerance skills as work responsibilities present challenges
The Salt Lake City area
Upon enrollment, students move into an apartment located in the safe and attractive Liberty Park neighborhood. This area is full of families and college students near one of Salt Lake City's largest and oldest city parks. These apartments are only a short distance from VCS’s main office where many program services and appointments take place. The campuses for Salt Lake Community College, the University of Utah, and Westminster College are also very nearby.
Students move into 2-bedroom apartments where they will have up to 1-2 roommates with whom they share a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and private laundry room. Having roommates allows students valuable opportunities to practice compromise, to navigate roommate conflict, and to learn new problem-solving techniques. Each student and their family make arrangements for their own bedroom furnishings, such as a bed set, nightstand, and dresser.
Two times per week, the apartments are inspected for cleanliness and wellness with a focus on healthy living habits in the home environment. Students also have daily contact with VCS’s young adult mentors for any issues that may arise. These frequent visits are great opportunities to receive assistance and guidance on the variety of issues that come with independent living.
VCS strongly encourages students to experience an increased level of independent living by finding their own residence here in the Salt Lake area for the final months of enrollment. This often occurs about 4 to 6 months after arriving and is referred to as the final stage of the program, called Phase 3. VCS’s team assists with these plans and helps students to identify the living situation that best fits their needs and goals. All clinical services continue during Phase 3, including therapy services and substance abuse counseling. VCS’s young adult mentors also continue to make regular visits and check-ins, providing ongoing support and life skills coaching.