Youth Services hires Coughlin as case manager for Brattleboro shelter

BRATTLEBORO — Melissa Coughlin recently joined the Youth Development team at Youth Services as the new youth shelter case manager.

According to a news release, Youth Development programming at Youth Services provides services for youth ages 12-23 who are experiencing homelessness, housing instability, or are at risk for displacement from their families or homes.

Coughlin is based in Youth Services' Brattleboro office and provides direct support and referral services aimed at securing safe, stable housing and family reunification.

Christine Linn, Youth Development Director, says the organization engages with young people through the age of 23 as they transition to independence and self-sufficiency. Using an intensive, therapeutic case-management model, this program focuses on building awareness and life skills in core areas of housing, education, employment, increasing permanent connections, health, and well-being.

“Melissa balances general case management with her role overseeing the Brattleboro Youth Shelter where she coordinates admission and discharge planning, organizes weekly house meetings, coordinates with landlords about maintenance issues, monitors payment of program fees and/or rent, and tracks data,” Linn said. “Our newest hire is already using a wide range of skills to support young people with job searches and work readiness, budgeting and money management, and how to find and keep an apartment.”

Prior to joining Youth Services, Coughlin was a mental health manager in The Brattleboro Retreat's residential program. She has also worked for Hospice as a home health aide and at The Bradley House as a residential health aide. Coughlin has taken coursework in education and psychology at Union Institute and University and has strong roots in Brattleboro and surrounding communities.

“We see the amazing resiliency of our youth on a daily basis even when faced with uncertainty,” Linn said, noting that this population faces challenges that range from difficulty finding and maintaining housing to navigating local and state resources that are geared toward children or adult populations.

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