United Health Foundation Partners with Lighthouse Youth & Family Services to Expand Behavioral and Physical Health Services

April 10, 2019
lighthouse youth services

(foreground, L to R) Bonita Campbell, vice president, Homeless Youth Services; Heather Cianfrocco, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community & State and United Health Foundation board member; (background, L to R) Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted; and Paul Haffner, president and CEO, Lighthouse Youth & Family Services tour the Lighthouse Sheakley Center for Youth, a multipurpose complex for homeless youth.

  • $840,000 grant will expand services to assist more than 5,000 transitional and homeless children and young adults over next three years

An $840,000 grant from the United Health Foundation will enable Lighthouse Youth & Family Services to expand access to behavioral and physical health services for more than 5,000 transitioning and homeless children and young adults in the Cincinnati area over the next three years.

The grant enables Lighthouse to operate an Integrated Access Team, including mobile and in-office clinical evaluators who work extended hours and weekends, and are able to meet individuals at a location of their choice. The grant will help Lighthouse increase its clinical and administrative capacity, and provide additional services to more youth in Hamilton, Montgomery and Ross counties in Ohio.

Lighthouse and the United Health Foundation were joined today by Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted in making the announcement and touring the Lighthouse Sheakley Center for Youth.

“Too many children are growing up without the love and support they need to have a hopeful start in life. It is important we provide supportive services to children in need so they have a shot at a healthy, purposeful future,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “Lighthouse is doing a great job supporting at-risk youth, and the involvement of the United Health Foundation provides a new level support for the important work being done here.”

The Integrated Access Team will decrease the time between the initial intake interview and assessment, and the amount of time from assessment to treatment. By housing the behavioral health and physical health services at one facility in the Walnut Hills neighborhood, Lighthouse’s centralized intake and clinical assessment process will ultimately lead to improved outcomes for individuals receiving treatment.

Lighthouse staff will receive specific training to ensure all visits are trauma-informed and youth-focused, and exemplify excellent customer service. Nine additional staff members will be hired over the course of the three-year grant to support the expanded operations.

“Thanks to the United Health Foundation as our partner, we will be able to provide potentially life-changing services for transitioning and homeless youth,” said Paul Haffner, president and CEO, Lighthouse Youth & Family Services. “This grant will help us continue our approach of emphasizing physical, psychological and emotional safety for the people we serve.”

Data on the safety and well-being of young people in southwest Ohio area indicate a substantial need for Lighthouse’s homeless youth services. In 2017, Cincinnati’s Homeless Management Information System reported that 24 percent of homeless people in Hamilton County were under the age of 18, and 35 percent were under the age of 25.

According to Cincinnati’s Youth Data Dashboard, in 2018 there were 598 unduplicated homeless individuals ages 18-24 in Hamilton County, 75 percent of whom were minorities, 8 percent of whom were LGBTQ, and 10 percent of whom were parents of young children. On any given night in 2018, between 63 and 108 children and young adults were unaccompanied (without their family) and experiencing homelessness.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Lighthouse to help young people in southwest Ohio access the critical health care services they need to lead healthier lives,” said Heather Cianfrocco, UnitedHealthcare Community & State CEO and United Health Foundation board member.

About Lighthouse Youth and Family Services

Lighthouse Youth & Family Services works to empower young people and families to succeed through a continuum of care that promotes healing and growth. The nonprofit agency serves ages 0-24 and is a nationally recognized innovator in services for youth and families in crisis, young people experiencing homelessness, and youth involved with the juvenile justice system. Lighthouse provides emergency shelter, early childhood intervention, education and life skills training, foster care and adoption, youth housing, residential treatment, community juvenile justice services, and mental health services All Lighthouse services are trauma-informed, strength-based, and fully accredited and licensed. For more information, visit

About the United Health Foundation

Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, the United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. The United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, the United Health Foundation has committed $430 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at