Mission: The ruth ellis center (rec) was formed in 1999 with the mission to "provide short and long-term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless, and at-risk lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender, and questioning youth. " the core purpose of the organization is to build positive futures with lgbtq young people experiencing barriers to housing, health and wellness.
Programs: Rec currently operates four programs: (1) ruth's house: in 2017, fifteen unique youth who identify as lgbtq and are in the foster care system lived at ruth's house, a state-licensed child caring institution, intensive treatment unit. The length of stay ranged from five to twelve months and a total of 1729 bed-nights of residential service were provided. (2) second stories drop-in center: a total of 567 unique youth came to the center and benefited from a total of over 7,400 service contacts including safety-net services, psycho-educational groups and mental health services. Referral network during drop in center hours provides referrals for emergency housing, employment, resume review, and job preparation opportunities. Wraparound services are provided by appointment, including the computer lab, shower facilities, ruth's clothes closet, mental health counseling, and other case management services. The summer internship program pays youth while learning the necessary soft skills needed to maintain employment. Youth learned about employment best-practices, team-building, accountability, and employment research tactics to aid them in pursuing employment. (3) second stories outpatient mental health services: 75 youth enrolled in some form of mental health services in 2017; including youth in individual and family community mental health services and group participation in the journey ahead curriculum. (4) family group decision making: training child welfare workers in wayne county to identify sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression issues in families in contact with child welfare; providing intensive home-based services designed to promote wellbeing for lgbtq children and youth. 2017 program accomplishments include: securing a $1. 5 million federal grant over four years in partnership with the state of michigan to establish one of four national quality improvement centers for lgbtq children & youth in foster care; serving 567 young people and providing over 7400 units of service; growing the number of young people who have established a medical home with the health & wellness center; establishing the ruth ellis institute to provide training, technical assistance and consulting on culturally competent services for lgbtq children and youth.
Homelessness among the LGBTQ youth in our communities is a serious problem, and the Ruth Ellis Center is one of the very few resources in the Detroit metro area available to these kids. Even more shocking is the fact that, currently, 44% of homeless LGBTQ youth are black and 66% of homeless transgender youth are black at a time when the black community comprises only 12% of the general population. Discrimination, mistreatment, and violence against LGBTQ people is alive and well. We must all do our part to support organizations such as the Ruth Ellis center which help alleviate this serious problem.
The service provided at the Ruth Ellis Center is below standards. There is no programming available in the drop in center for the youth as it was in the past. My case manager is never available. My situation of being homeless has not changed because I have not received the proper services. They really need to bring in new staff that actually care.
This is a great organization providing a critical service to the young people of metro Detroit. Very talented and committed people on the board and staff. I have been happy to support them financially through donations.
This organization has both a "drop in" center and transition house for homeless LGBT youth, who are many times the most forgotten in society. The staff really cares about their clients as well as the funds donated. I always feel like my donations go to do the best good, whether monetary or in kind, such as from their "needs" list.
This is an organization that cares deeply about homeless Youth. I have never felt the pressure to just donate money like other charities. The center is happy to receive items on their needs list. That way your money goes directly to helping out the youth. I have a great deal of respect for the staff and volunteers that work with the youth. Sometimes I think their troubles would be overwhelming, but the staff just motivates them to help themselves. It is great that the gblt youth in Detroit have somewhere to turn to, and I think that other cities should follow suit.