We are proud of our service to young people, since 1972. Founded as “Juvenile Assistance of McLean,” we served young people for more than four decades as “Alternative House.” In early 2017, our organization unveiled a fresh look, gave our programs more cohesive names, and began going by “Second Story.”
Sustainability means willingness to change.
We have always been willing to grow and adapt to reflect the needs of the people we serve, in response to what we’ve heard from young people, their families, and their communities. Our approaches have been diverse, but we have remained consistent in our vision to help all in the path to empowered adulthood.
Our History Timeline
A “coffee house” project was started on “an experimental short-term basis” at McLean Baptist Church, as reported in the 1971 Annual Report for local group SHARE, Inc. This coffee house provided interaction between adults and youth. Runaways began interacting with local adults, prompting the adults to seek a way to help them.
“Juvenile Assistance of McLean” starts offering shelter to runaway teens in a trailer on the grounds of Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, calling its shelter “an Alternative House.” Jan Rochelle is the director of Alternative House.
The annual budget of Alternative House in 1973 is $71,675.
Alternative House was already handling “thousands of emergency telephone calls,” according to the Youth Committee Report in 1974. Joe Fidelli becomes the director of Alternative House.
Alternative House is described as “a three-phased program consisting of preventative counseling, temporary in-house residence, and follow-up” in the SHARE, Inc. newsletter.
Nearly 300 youth were served in 1976, and counselors conducted 1,500 individual and 250 family sessions, according to the annual report.
“The staff at Alternative House consists of a director, four full-time counselors, a night resident counselor, administrative coordinator, a family counselor, and a volunteer coordinator who supervises 30 volunteers from the local community,” according to an Alternative House brochure.
Juvenile Assistance of McLean formally changes its name to Alternative House, its most popular program. The Executive Director is Robb Hasencamp.
Jim Warwick becomes the Executive Director of Alternative House.
The Emergency Shelter for Teenagers moves from its former location at 2009 Gallows Road to its current location at 2100 Gallows Rd, Vienna, Virginia.
Alternative House begins its Street Outreach Program to reach out to at-risk young people in Fairfax County, beginning its Community-Based Services program with just three counselors in the Culmore, Springfield, and Route 1 areas offering food, clothing, supplies, counseling, and support.
Kaleidoscope, a 90 day residential program for severely abused children ages five to 12, opens its doors. It was an effort to reach children who by their profile and experiences were more likely to come to the Emergency Shelter as they got older.
The first Transitional Living Program for homeless young people 16 to 21 years old opens.
Judith Dittman becomes the Executive Director of Alternative House.
Alternative House expands its Community Based programs through opening the Culmore Teen Center to provide recreational and educational services to young people in the 7th through 12th grade.
The first Transitional Living Program closes due to a loss of funding.
Home Aid is established in Northern Virginia by the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association. Their first project is a major renovation of Alternative House’s Emergency Shelter for Teenagers. Home Aid completely remodeled the interior of the home which was deteriorating after 20 years of hard use. They also doubled the square footage of the house and added a basement to store needed supplies. Following the renovation we were able to house young people two to a room instead of four youth in each small bedroom.
Alternative House opens a new transitional living program, Assisting Young Mothers, and begins providing safe havens, support, and services to homeless pregnant and parenting young women ages 16-24.
Culmore Safe Youth Project opens to provide drop-in after-school services to at-risk children in the 4th through 6th grade
Annandale Safe Youth Project opens to provide drop-in after-school services to at-risk children in the 4th through 6th grade
Homeless Youth Initiative opens in partnership with Fairfax County Public Schools to help homeless high school students who are without the support of a parent or guardian.
The second Transitional Living Program opens in 2012, expanding the Homeless Youth Initiative so that young people ages 18-22 can get the support they need to walk the path to productive adulthood.
Culmore and Springfield Neighborhood Initiatives contracts awarded, expanding the services available to families and communities in Culmore and Springfield.
Springfield Safe Youth Project opens to provide drop-in after-school services to at-risk children in the 4th through 6th grade.
Alternative House changes its name to Second Story, begins writing a new narrative to expand upon the mission of serving youth in need.