Since 1984, TOP has provided comprehensive residential services to youth ages 13 to 21. Eligible youth in any county can become a member through DCP&P, NJ-CSOC, or self-referral. Our youth members enjoy a variety of Elizabeth, NJ-based independent and transitional living support services that prepare them for a stable, self-reliant adulthood. Referrals are accepted into one of four placements after initial assessment:

  • Group Home
  • Supervised Transitional Living Program (STLP)
  • Semi-Independent
  • Supported Housing

Youth enrolled in the TOP day program participate in an employment training workshop, a GED program, or volunteer job practicum for a minimum of 30 hours per week. TOP members may receive 24-hour supervised residential living, community services, daily living skills training, case management, advocacy and outreach, education in accordance with the NJ Approved Life Skills Curriculum, and drug and alcohol awareness education.

Transitional Living Program

CAU operates a Transitional Living Program for homeless and runaway youth in Union County aged 16-22.

TLP services follow a positive youth development approach that offers safety, a sense of belonging, opportunity, independence, and close interpersonal relationships.

The primary causes of homelessness among youth are family conflict or severe economic hardship. Many homeless youth run away from homes where they experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse. One study reports that more than 40 percent of runaway and homeless youth report being beaten by a caretaker and 25 percent experienced some sort of sexual abuse.

Our outreach workers are bilingual and distribute materials in both English and Spanish. Staff meet homeless youth on the streets, around schools and at other places they congregate.

TLP will offer life skills training, including money management, budgeting, education, use of credit, interpersonal skills, job attainment and mental and physical health care.

The Transitional Living Program complements the CAU Basic Center Program, which has operated for 8 years to provide immediate housing and personal counseling needs to homeless youth. TLP will assist members to plan for self-sufficient living and provide follow-up support.


All cases are evaluated on an individual basis. Contact us today to see if CAU can help you or your youth come out on TOP.  

Contact us today to learn more.

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