Youth On Their Own supports the high school graduation and continued success of youth experiencing homelessness in grades 6-12 who are enrolled in a public, private, charter, or alternative school in Pima County. Students must be homeless per the McKinney-Vento definition and be without the care of a long term parent or long term guardian. To begin the application process, students can complete an online application at or contact their YOTO School Liaison (e.g., principal, teacher, counselor, etc.) within their school.

Who YOTO Serves

To be eligible for the program, students must be:

  • Enrolled in a Pima County middle or high school, from grades 6 through 12, and be under the age of 22
  • Unaccompanied through no fault/choice of their own; not in the physical custody of a parent or long-term legal guardian; and without a stable home

YOTO’s Schools

An interactive map of the locations of & YOTO enrollment numbers at the schools YOTO Youth attend.

To navigate the map, use your mouse scroll wheel or +/- buttons to zoom. Click on the map and move your mouse to explore different areas. For information about a school, move your cursor to the circle and hover. Then click for further info.

How YOTO Serves

Youth On Their Own’s program focuses on three components – financial assistance, basic human needs, and guidance – to ensure that youth experiencing homelessness have the resources necessary to stay in school and graduate.

Financial Assistance

Monthly Stipend Program: Students are eligible to receive a monthly stipend of up to $350, which provides a safety net in managing daily needs. To be eligible to receive a stipend, students must be regularly attending school.

Basic Human Needs

  • Basic Needs / Mini Mall:  The YOTO Mini Mall provides free basic needs items such as food, hygiene items, household goods, and school supplies. Students may visit the Mini Mall in-person or request that items be delivered to their school. Many Mini Mall items are donations provided by the generosity of community members, organizations, and businesses.
  • Transportation:  Sun Tran is currently free to all riders, but YOTO will provide monthly bus passes to youth if that changes. Bicycles also provide students with transportation to school, work, and healthcare appointments.


YOTO provides students with referrals to other social service and healthcare agencies to ensure that each receives the support required to graduate from high school. The organization has created new and strengthened existing collaborations with local community agencies, organizations, and businesses to provide a wide-range of services including, but not limited to:

  • Housing Referrals
  • Personal Counseling
  • One-on-One Success Coaching
  • Medical, Dental and Vision Care
  • Employment Opportunities and Community Involvement Activities

Youth On Their Own also offers an Alumni Program that helps students prepare for life after high school.  Without the stability of a family and the lack of parental guidance, most of the youth in our program cannot imagine what the next day of their life will bring… let alone plan their future career paths.  The YOTO Alumni Team provides guidance, mentoring, and training in:

  • Pursuing possible educational scholarship opportunities
  • Assessing skills to determine possible career paths after high school
  • Preparation for job placement, from application to resume to interview