Real Alternatives

Real Alternatives offers a continuum of transitional housing opportunities for current and former foster youth and/or those on probation ages 18 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 LGBTQIA+-identified youth.

Real Alternatives provides a safety net environment for participants to take responsibility for their lives in as many areas as possible and develop goals for their future. 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 challenges that may get in their way.

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

Side by Side completed a five year longitudinal study of Real Alternatives and the success of our clients upon exiting the program. Click here for the Executive Summary of the study.

Side by Side gratefully acknowledges the Eucalyptus Foundation, Five Bridges Foundation, In-N-Out Burger Foundation, Venable Foundation, West Davis & Bergard Foundation, and Bernard E. & Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation for supporting Real Alternatives.



Raylena: A Real Alternatives Story from Side By Side on Vimeo.

Real Alternatives’ client Raylena, gives voice to her journey and Side by Side’s role in her story.
Video Credit: Andrew Hida

UnBroken from Side By Side on Vimeo.

UnBroken features the Irene M. Hunt School, Real Alternatives, and YouThrive. The film was shortlisted for the Social Impact Media Awards and screened at the 2021 Oakland Film Festival.
Video credit: Andrew Hida.