On any given night in Grand Rapids, over 200 children are surviving as homeless youth. Afraid to go home. Afraid to stay on the street. They drift from couch to couch, doing whatever needs to be done to survive.
As a community with a heart for the oppressed, we can’t simply stand by.
In December 2014, we opened Grand Rapids’ first Runaway + Homeless Youth Drop-In Center. Working with dedicated local partners, we provide rest, resources, and life readiness tools for these children in need. It’s a place where we can not only meet basic needs like a warm shower or some toothpaste, but also provide educational resources, job training, and connections for housing and counseling. A place where youth can come as they are and be met without judgment. Plus, by centralizing services and working with strategic partners, we increase the likelihood of youth exiting homelessness and entering safe environments where their resilience can carry them forward.
Runaway/Homeless Youth represent one of the most vulnerable populations in our city. Sexual assault and exploitation, physical attacks, STDs, and substance dependency are commonplace among them. These children need a safe place and safe people to support them.
For nearly a decade, Grand Rapids has been working to eradicate homelessness in our city. However, despite being 40% of the homeless population, homeless youth have less than 10% of the services available. We believe that our community has the expertise, compassion, and skill to engage in this area. And there’s a role for everyone. Consider these opportunities as you pray about how you might engage with this initiative:
Skill Development Groups
Community Partner Support
Visit HQGR.org to learn more >