Ruth Ellis Center expansion will help house homeless, at-risk LGBTQ+ youth in Detroit

An expansion to Detroit's Ruth Ellis Center will provide housing for homeless and at-risk LGBTQ+ youth.

"We’re excited because this specifically is for our young people that we serve, and we know that homelessness is a huge barrier and hurdle for many community members," said Jeynce Poindexter, a case manager at Ruth Ellis. 

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According to LGBTQ+ youth experience homelessness at higher rates than young people who are not LGBTQ+. Advocates are working to help change that.

"Get them out of unsafe situations and allow them to have a home. Everybody deserves a place to lay their head," said Joyya Pettus, the lead case manager at Ruth Ellis. 

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The new building, called the Ruth Ellis Clairmount Center, is expected to open in the summer. It will have 43 units of supportive housing.

"I think it’s a first in terms of the unique partnerships that came together to provide affirming housing for LGBTQ young people," said Luke Hassevoort, the housing director for Ruth Ellis.

Young people will also have access to health and wellbeing services.

"They have art therapy, a number of wrap around services here," said Congresswoman Rashida Talib.

Talib pushed for the $1 million in community project funding that is helping with the project.

"As the youth go through there, they’re going to see so much love and care, and you know, our neighbors and our community saying, "This is your home, welcome home. You are safe. You are loved," she said.