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Youth Transition Center (YTC)

Dr. Francine Williams
Program Director, YTC

As a Human Service professional, Francine has assisted thousands of youth and their families during her 25-year career. Francine’s goals are to assist families reduce the conditions that precipitate youth homelessness, threaten the youth’s ability to thrive, and helping youth achieve self-efficacy. Francine earned her Master of Human Services, from Lincoln University in 2001 and PHD in Human Services in 2013, from Walden University. Her personal experiences exemplify her true passion and purpose of advocating for youth. Francine utilizes holistic concepts, person centered, and strength based models to help youth and their families achieve their goals of family cohesion. Her philosophy is, “There are no bad youth, just bad circumstances.”

CTS’ Youth Transition Center


5738 Thomas Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19143
(267) 969-7272



Mission Statement

To promote a quality lifestyle for runaway homeless youth through family reunification,  permanency, education, mentoring, vocational training, and job placement assistance; therefore, reducing crime, homelessness, and increasing public safety.

ytckidsThe Youth Transition Center (YTC) Program is for homeless youth ages 14-17 and utilizes Positive Youth Development (PYD) curriculum, while providing Trauma Informed care. YTC concentrates on building satisfying lives through mentoring, education, individual case planning/management, and employment readiness training. YTC is dedicated to helping at risk and housing unstable youth, their families, and the community by offering holistic strength-based services. 

Positive Youth Development (PYD):  YTC staff promote PYD by providing a caring climate, supporting youth, advocating for youth, helping them to advocate for themselves, connect youth with appropriate resources, learn positive   communication, modeling positive behavior, recognizing risks/reducing harm, assist youth with developing their strengths, enhancing coping skills, develop positive relationships, developing goal obtaining behaviors, and providing opportunities for youth to contribute to the community.

ytc-homelessYTC Services: food, a safe place to stay (up to 21 days), clothing, counseling, mentoring, individual case management, Family Café (youth & family counseling), family reintegration (or other safe housing), education, life skills, PC  literacy, and GED prep. Referral services include Career & Job Prep., workforce development, alcohol/substance abuse support group/rehabilitation, vocational training (Youth Build/Job Corps partners), legal services, medical examinations, STD/STI/HIV testing and treatment, Mental Health, and other supportive services.

Trauma Informed Care (TIC): Youth establish   caring relationships with caring YTC staff who recognize the presence of trauma and understands how trauma can effect the lives of youth and impact the family. The YTC staff help youth and their families understand how trauma can impact the youth’s life.

Harm Reduction: lgbtqThe YTC staff assist youth developing strategies to increase their own safety and reduce the occurrence of harm by learning about victim awareness & sensitivity, restorative justice awareness, human/sex trafficking, LGBTQ issues, healthy relationships, mentoring,  self-responsibility for community safety, and ethical standards.

YTC offers

  • Shelter
  • Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Aftercare
  • Life Skills
  • Computer Literacy
  • Family Reunification Services
  • Positive Youth Development
  • Harm Reduction
  • Employment Readiness
  • GED Preparation
  • Vocational Training and Certifications
  • Job Placement Assistance



Dante Leonard
Dante Leonard
Community Resource and Recruitment Manager, YTC

Dante served in various roles supporting and advocating for youth with Connection Training Services for over 15 years. He is the former Job Developer for the Work Ready Program. Mr. Leonard assisted inner city youth, ages 16 -21, with obtaining employment in construction, Serve Safe, Penn Dot, heating, plumbing, and heavy equipment operation. In his capacity as the Community Resource and Recruitment Manager for CTS/YTC, he has forged and maintained symbiotic relationships between CTS/YTC and Community Stakeholders. Mr. Leonard’s role allows him to remain in touch with the needs of the youth and the community.

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