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Home-Like Setting Helps Teens Prepare for Independence

LANCASTER – New Directions Youth and Family Services has announced the opening of its newest agency operated board home for teens at 5522 Broadway Avenue in Lancaster. The new home began welcoming its first residents in November 2021.

The home was previously the site of a youth shelter operated by Plymouth Crossroads. New Directions purchased and renovated the home with funds from New Directions Foundation. “The neighborhood and community have been very welcoming,” said Mark Wickerham, New Directions’ Director of Community Based Programs, who coordinated the homes’ renovation. “The location opens up many opportunities for youth.”

The New York State Office of Child and Family Services certifies Broadway House as an approved site with a maximum occupancy of six older teens. The home is staffed at all times. Youth must attend school and are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities and/or hold part-time jobs.  They do all this while also acquiring life skills and receiving support to identify and stay connected to important persons in their lives.

“Within this unique community-based program we have the privilege to serve youth and their families while providing youth an opportunity to thrive in a safe, home-like setting that supports them to develop and sustain positive lifelong family relationships,” said Julie Tomasi, New Directions’ Chief Operating Officer of Child Welfare Programs.

New Directions also runs agency operated boarding homes in Falconer, Westons Mills, and a group home for pregnant and parenting teens in Salamanca. “For many youth the path to success is in building positive relationships within a therapeutic community setting,” said Jim Coder, New Directions’ Chief Executive Officer. “New Directions is open to opportunities and is fortunate to be able to meet a need that existed prior to the pandemic.”

New Directions invites interested community stakeholders to make an appointment to tour the residence and learn more about the program by contacting Jim Karpinski, Program Coordinator, at 716-391-1769. For more information on New Directions’ services for children and families throughout Western New York please visit

About New Directions Youth and Family Services:

New Directions Youth and Family Services is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency with a heritage going back 150 years. Its mission is to foster resilient, self-reliant families and permanence for at-risk children in the shortest time possible, by promoting safe, respectful, responsible, and goal-directed behavior. The agency’s mission is promoted through dedicated, caring staff and by employing its treatment philosophy of Normative Culture. For more information about New Directions Youth and Family Services, please visit

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