The Thresholds Young Adult Program (YAP) is a one-of-a-kind program designed for young adults with mental health needs requiring community residential services or transitional living support. Featured in multiple books and peer-reviewed journals (LINK), YAP is known for refining   best practices   for engagement and support for young adults with histories of trauma and child system involvement, including child welfare, juvenile justice, and special education. Geared specifically toward preparing youth for their highest level of success as they become adults, YAP balances high levels of real-world experiential learning with high levels of support and creative engagement strategies. YAP is guided by the Transition to Independence Process (TIP) Model, an evidence-informed practice that: assists young people in discovering who they are; empowers young people to take an active role in their treatment and goal planning; teaches young people risk management and problem solving, and fosters the building of family and social support connections for the future.


YAP services are fully team-based, and include multiple therapeutic approaches, intensive case management, life-skills building, financial management, psychiatry, family/social support connection building, community living activities, and overall development of individual strengths.

YAP staff practice a young adult-adapted version of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), an Evidence-Based practice that increases emotion and behavior regulation and interpersonal skills, and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI), an effective crisis prevention and intervention model for residential care providers.

YAP is also well-known for its integration of Evidence-Based Supported Employment and Supported Education. By linking these vocational teams with YAP clinical teams, young people build work and school experiences that prepare them for employment and post-secondary education opportunities down the road.

Furthermore, in the last year of YAP engagement, young people work closely with a Transition Specialist who successfully links young people to benefits, housing, and support services for life after YAP.


Located on Chicago’s Northside, YAP Residential supports 16-21 year olds in building independent living skills while managing their mental health and overall wellness. YAP Residential includes three residences (2 for males; 1 for females) that are conveniently located near the main YAP Center. During the day, young people are engaged in school, work, or programming at the main YAP Center.

Young people who are ready to learn how to live in a less structured environment and are getting closer to graduating from the program can move to the Excel apartments. A unique part of the residential continuum, Excel consists of shared apartments with around the clock staff supports. Excel members participate in all aspects of the same Residential services, but also get the opportunity to practice living in a shared apartment.


Thresholds REACH is a Transitional Living Program (TLP) designed for young adults with mental health needs, and consists of three locations across Chicago’s North Side. Young people ages 18-21 live in apartments with 24-hour staff support while they develop life skills, self-discovery, and self-sufficiency.

For more information, please contact the Thresholds Young Adult Program intake line at 773-537-3030.

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