Homeless Teen Shelter Dedicated Today!
Most of you know that I spent time as a teen being homeless… There are many reasons that teens can end up in this predicament. And I can tell you from a first hand experience that it isn’t easy! I am so happy to see a place like this come together! “My Friend’s Place” homeless teen shelter was dedicated today!
My Friends Place in the Tri Cities’ is the only state-licensed teen homeless shelter, and has been providing laundry, meals, and other homeless services for the past several weeks, but will now have the ability to provide overnight shelter for up to 16 teens.
At the ceremony, today, one of the bedrooms was dedicated in memory of John Gerlitz. The Gerlitz family recently donated $10,000, allowing the facility to open in advance of the projected January 2012 opening date when grant funding becomes available.
Local estimates indicate several hundred teens in the Tri-Cities are homeless at any given time. My Friend’s Place will provide immediate basic human survival needs for youth on the streets like warm meals, showers, laundry, and a safe place to rest overnight.
Dedicated Safe Harbor staff and volunteer mentors will assist teens with accessing long-term solutions including family reconciliation services, transitional living arrangements, educational programs, job training, and help with mental health or chemical dependency. Safe Harbor also offers a family support center offering resources and classes for families and parents at this location.