Ruth Ellis Center Archives - Alternatives For Girls

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AFG Works to Fight Youth Homelessness with Regional Alliance

Jul. 30 2014 | Tags: , , , , ,

Nationally, approximately 30,000 youth under the age of 18 are homeless and on their own for more than a week every year. [1]

Within 48 hours of running away, a young person is likely to be solicited for prostitution or another form of sexual exploitation. [2] 

Youth ages 13-24 are the least likely of any age group to know that they are infected with HIV. [3]

These are just a few of the staggering statistics about runaway and homeless youth that show the great need for programs that focus on ending the cycle of homelessness and poverty for our nation’s youth.

Here in Detroit, Alternatives For Girls is the only organization uniquely serving girls and women through shelter, outreach and prevention services. In this way, we are working to provide a holistic approaching to ending youth homelessness. As the statistics show, the problem of youth homelessness is vast and needs a broad approach if we hope to solve it. This is why Alternatives For Girls has teamed up with three other agencies in the community with the hope of reaching more individuals and providing a wide array of resources.

Alternatives For Girls, Common Ground, Ruth Ellis Center, and Starfish Family Services have come together to create the Runaway and Homeless Youth Regional Alliance (RHY Regional Alliance). The RHY Regional Alliance is dedicated to providing safe places where youth can access food, shelter, and short and long-term support to help them become self-sufficient and live independently.

The RHY Regional Alliance was created to help serve youth by focusing on building a strong infrastructure for the four partner organizations to better work together. It aims to improve data collection and sharing of information amongst the agencies and to carry out joint efforts to increase public awareness about the challenges faced by disconnected youth in Southeast Michigan.

The four agencies are all focused on the broad goal of serving runaway and homeless youth, but they each have different areas of expertise. The goal of the alliance is to bring these different strengths together to form a powerful partnership.

Alternatives For Girls has gender-specific knowledge and experience in meeting the needs of girls and young women. Our mission is to help homeless and high-risk girls and young women to avoid violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation, and help them to explore and access the support, resources and opportunities necessary to be safe, to grow strong, and to make positive choices in their lives.

Common Ground has expertise in mental health and crisis counseling. Its core purpose is helping people move from crisis to hope.

Ruth Ellis Center has expertise in serving lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Its mission is to provide short-term and long-term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth in Detroit and Southeastern Michigan.

Starfish Family Services focuses on healthy child development with a service model that recognizes children ultimately depend on strong families and strong communities to succeed. Primary programming areas include early childhood development, mental health and counseling, family supportive services, and youth services.

Alternatives For Girls is proud to be a member of the RHY Regional Alliance and is committed to using this collaborative effort to further our mission of helping homeless and high-risk youth to grow strong and to make positive choices in their lives.

[1] National Alliance to End Homelessness

[2] Family and Youth Services Bureau U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

[3] Family and Youth Services Bureau U.S. Department of Health and Human Services