SHED, helping teens' mental health, faces uncertain financial future during COVID-19

A little more than a year ago, the SHED in Shelby Township opened to help teens with mental health. SHED is an acronym for Stimulating Humanistic Existinalism Development and has helped 140,000 teens.

Count Katie Kraemer and Alex Beran among those that have utilized the SHED's resources. It's run by the nonprofit and is like therapy for teens - but more laid back.

"It's like laid-back, talk to people, that you’re comfortable talking to, not some random person, it could be a friend or an adult but it’s just very comforting there," Alex said.

It first opened in September 2019 and was just starting to take off before COVID-19 hit in March of 2020. But they haven't stopped.

They're still doing virtual programs like the Rant Room to give teens a place to vent.

Dennis Liegghio from hopes people will realize that they need money to keep the group afloat.

"My vision for the SHED has always been the space that I would have wanted to go when I was a teen - and I was an outcast, I felt isolated, I felt misunderstood," Liegghio said.

The building costs more than $4,000 a month in rent alone and, with COVID operating cash running dry, they're facing difficult times.

Joe Zago, known as the man in charge of the Carpet Guys, is a board member who hopes you’ll reach in your pocket to help. 

One in five teens struggle with anxiety or depression. Zago was one of them.

"The depression and a lot of things I was played with as a teenager still carried on into my adulthood and there were times in my life, twice as a teenager, once in my 20s and believe it or not once three years after I started the carpet guys where I found myself in a very desperate, dark spot where I was very, very suicidal," Zago said.

Joe, Dennis, Alex, and Katie all hope that the community can come together to save the shed. 

"It's run by kids, not by social workers or what have you - so it’s an attractive place to go for the kids," Zago said.

"If we are unable to resume our normal activities, which include fundraising, we’re going to be feeling a pretty big hit very soon in a time where we already facing a revenue shortfall of 25% from fundraising,"

But we leave it with the teens to make the case. The shed has never been more important. 

When things get back to normal, will it still be there? A question you can help answer with your dollars.

"Without it we could not provide the resources on the space that we’re working on, getting reopened for when things are safe, we would not have that if we didn't have the support from members of the community or anyone who wants to help," Katie said.

If you want to make a donation or have your kids join the Rant Room - which is virtual - go to to donate.