Mission: Covenant house michigan (chm) works to fulfill its mission by providing shelter and services to youth 18-24 years of age who are homeless or at great risk. Services are offered to all youth who voluntarily seek help, with priority of concern and commitment to those for whom there are no other available servies. Chm makes every effort to reunite youth with their families whenever possible, if it is in the best interest of the youth. Collaboration with community agencies and organizations as well as participation in community efforts to imrpove the condition of families and children in another targeted area in which attention is focused. In addition, covenant house michigan (chm) advocates with and on behalf of youth to raise awareness in the community about the issues of youth homelessness. Above all else, our mission is based on faith and the belief that all youth have a right to love, respect and genuine concern, which is the driving force for all chm services.
Programs: Shelter and crisis care- covenant house michigan works to meet the short and long-term needs of youth who are homeless through the provision of food, shelter, clothing, counseling, education, life skills and health (physical, mental and dental). Those services which cannot be offered on-site are referred to appropriate professionals in the community, so that basic necessities are met prior to assisting youth with eliminating the barriers that precipitated their homelessness. Our shelter, (caritas center) is open 365 days a year, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day and accepts any youth who is in need of shelter between the ages of 18-24. [see continuation on schedule o]in operation since february 2000, covenant house caritas center has provided shelter and crisis management assistance to over 4,400 youth. In fiscal year 2017, covenant house michigan's caritas center provided services to 420 youth. They were assisted with job placement (93); enrolling in educational programs (108); and placement in job training programs (72). The total me life skills curriculum assisted these youth in preparing for adulthood and they are on their way to becoming productive members of society.
rights of passage- due to the need to provide homeless youth with residential services beyond emergency shelter, covenant house michigan opened the rights of passage program (rop) in october 2000. Rop provides transitional housing and supportive services up to two years for youth 18-24 years of age who demonstrate the desire to turn their lives around and make a transition from street life to productive adulthood and independent living. This program allows youth from the shelter who demonstrate the willingness to make a positive change in their lives and who have no other options for permanent housing, to work toward their short and long term goals in a supportive and planned manner. [see continuation on schedule o]in fiscal year 2017, covenant house michigan's rights of passage center provided services to 72 youth. They were assisted with job placement and retention (22); enrolling in educational programs including those at the college level (26); placement in job training programs (17); staff mentoring and support services (72); and services that prepared them for life after covenant house.
school - chm initiated and oversaw the creation of four public school academies within the metropolitan detroit area. The academies provide education, for homeless and at-risk children and those who have dropped out of school while in grades nine through twelve, and assists students in earning their high school diplomas.
Covenant House Michigan is the treasurer of our greatest asset--our youth. The staff tirelessly works to help raise our future up. Their mission far transcends hope. They help breathe life into young people otherwise who have been cast aside. It is important to note that this mission is a statewide initiative. I am proud to support CHM and will continue to do so.
Covenant House Michigan has a simple call: To love and care for all children and young adults unconditionally. The way they meet that call far exceeds expectations. Most people know CHM offers shelter, food, clothing, and even healthcare services on-site. Did you know it also offers a transitional living program where youths may live up to two years learning to live independently, get a job, and save money? Or that CHM runs three charter schools in Detroit in addition to GED prep classes on its campus? How about the community service centers that provide inner-city kids a safe haven to spend free time engaging in crafts, counseling, computer classes, ESL instruction and other forms of crisis intervention? These services and more are part of a comprehensive "contiuum of care" aimed at equipping all kids with physical, educational, emotional, psychological and spiritual tools and OPPORTUNITIES to succeed, beginning with simply keeping them off the streets.
I find it amazing that CHM continued EXPANDING its mission even during this crippling recession. There's an inverse relationship between economic prosperity and demand for CHM's services: as the economy worsens, people donate less which cuts into CHM's budget; yet schools are closing, people are losing their homes, and more kids end up on the street without access to basic necesseties or stability in their lives. So, money goes down while demand goes up. It speaks not only to the quality of CHM staff, but also its amazing base of donors and volunteers who all feel compelled to help a little bit more in times like these.
Working as a marketing intern, I had an amazing experience at Covenant House Michigan. I wrote articles to promote the organization, interviewed kids, helped organize events, and learned as much as I could about CHM. During my time, I noticed how passionate every staff member felt about his or her job, and how they all felt passionate about helping the kids. Many would take the time to develop personal connections with the kids, and to help counsel and mentor them. From my observation, the organization ran very well. The fundraising events were very successful, and everybody was constantly thinking of creative activities (talent shows, barbecues) to try and make things more fun for the kids. I also noticed how staff members were constantly brainstorming possible improvements to an already successful program - especially improvements with regard to staff unity, job assistance, education, etc.