GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Any night of the week in Grand Rapids there could be more than 200 young people living on the streets.
It could be family dysfunction, sexual abuse, aging out of foster care, involvement with the juvenile court system or economic hardship that push youth into this situation.
What could start with experienced trauma or poor attachment could then lead to couch surfing from friend to friend’s houses and then end up with homelessness.
Several agencies in Grand Rapids have come together in this week’s Connecting with Community Awards Finalist, to help youth get a safe place to stay and eventually live: HQ, Mel Trotter Ministries and 3:11 Youth Housing.
For immediate needs of a young person struggling with homelessness can stay in the new Youth Emergency Shelter at Mel Trotter. This is a separate space, just for young males aged 18-24, from the older male population at the shelter. The youth have their own dedicated entrance and access to clinics, spiritual care, computer labs and meals.
HQ works hard to build relationships with the youth to find safe, supportive and stable housing. HQ provides a drop-in center that has access to basic needs like showers, laundry, lockers and mail boxes. There’s also employment and education support, crisis processing and mental health referrals.
The partnership also includes 3:11 Youth Housing who provides supportive housing in a home setting with house mentors and roommates. 3:11 has purchased and renovated three duplexes in Grand Rapids for youth going through their programs.
Together these partners have been involved and positively affected hundreds of youth here in Grand Rapids.
Find out more about this partnership and the other Connecting with Community Awards Finalists and watch their stories every Friday at 5pm on 24 Hour News 8.