DETROIT (FOX 2) - Covenant House Michigan in Detroit helps men and women transition out of homelessness. The shelter just got a huge bump thanks to generation donations from a Detroit family and the Lions.
Covenant House Executive Director Gerry Piro excitedly welcomed more young people to the newly renovated shelter on their campus. This place is much more than a shelter.
Since 1997, Covenant House has helped young people like Taron Smith.
"I was on the street but I have a place I can call a safe haven," Taron said.
Taron is one of the many young people who has been through the program and is now getting ready to get his own apartment. He was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and knows he has family here that will help him through.
"This is a special organization. You can feel the love when you step through these doors," Taron said.
"Now the young people have a safe place to live. They have the nurturing to help get a job," said Peter Cracchiolo.
Cracchiolo and his family donated $600,000 to renovate the center to carry on his parents' legacy. For years, they supported Covenant House and the vulnerable, at-risk young people who come here and get the love and support they need for a second chance.
"We believe in you. You have a great future and we're going to do everything we can to help you start that right here," said Mayor Mike Duggan.
Covenant House is supported by the city and the Detroit Lions, who donated all of the beds and linens.
"We are just thankful to be here - and thankful to do our small part to show the youth they are loved. Because everybody should feel they are loved," said Lions player Taylor Decker.
"We want to thank you here at Covenant House for allowing us to come and help and jump on board in making a change for these young people," Jarrad Davis said.
Making change and making lives better is what Covenant House is all about.
"They can do anything to get their lives back on track. (Our mission is to make sure) that they feel safe here, that they feel welcomed here. and that they feel loved here," said Piro.