Real Alternatives

Real Alternatives offers a continuum of transitional housing opportunities for current and former foster youth and/or those on probation ages 16 to 24. We provide an apartment for youth to call home and often support especially vulnerable populations including commercially sexually exploited youth, parenting and pregnant youth, and LGBTQ identified youth. Real Alternatives provides a safe environment for participants to take responsibility for their lives in as many areas as possible and develop goals for their future all while having a safety net. Supported by our staff, youth learn to budget and pay bills, shop for groceries and cook, live with a roommate, resolve conflict, pursue an education, and pursue and maintain employment. All Real Alternatives clients have access to mental health services and also are supported in building and/or repairing relationships, learning new coping skills, and managing any mental health symptoms that may get in their way.

Crisis intervention and emergency support is also available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.


Holidays can be a stressful time for all of us, and especially for the young people that Side by Side serves. Many of the former foster youth in our Real Alternatives program don’t have families to buy them holiday presents and living on their own limited resources means that the “extras” are a significant strain on the budget. Side by Side hopes to brighten our young people’s holiday season by ensuring that each has a present to unwrap.

Want to help by purchasing a gift? Check out the Amazon wishlist for our Real Alternatives clients (available 11/15 – 12/7).

Side by Side gratefully acknowledges the Albert & Elaine Borchard Foundation, the Eucalyptus Foundation, the Five Bridges Foundation, the West Davis & Bergard Foundation, and the Bernard E. & Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation for supporting Real Alternatives.