Mission: Covenant house michigan(chm) works to fulfill its mission by providing shelter and services to youth 18-22 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 services. 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 improve 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 18-22. In operation since february 2000, covenant house caritas center has provided shelter and crisis management assistance to over 4,000 youth. In fiscal year 2014, covenant house michigan's caritas center provided services to 394 youth. They were assisted with job placement (127); enrolling in educational programs (118); and placement in job training programs (44). 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 18-22 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. In fiscal year 2014, covenant house michigan's rights of passage center provided services to 56 youth. They were assisted with job placement and retention (39); enrolling in educational programs including those at the college level (14); placement in job training programs (17); staff mentoring and support services (56); and services that prepared them for life after covenant house.
outreach: with thousands of homeless youth on the streets in michigan, covenant house michigan takes a proactive approach to find and help them through the street outreach program. These youth are often found in abandoned houses, cars and on street corners where they are usually engaged in illegal activities in order to survive. These youth often face unsanitary living conditions, violence, drugs and sexual abuse and exploitation. They lack basic needs such as food, clothing, and medical and mental health attention. The chm outreach team canvasses the streets of metro detroit, 7 days a week, to provide youth with prevention services, information about chm's housing and education programs as well as counseling, food and clean clothes. Immediate shelter is provided if youth are ready to leave the streets. For those youth who are younger than the youth serviced at chm's caritas center or who have children, the outreach team also provides assistance with getting them in a shelter that will meet their needs. In fiscal year 2014, the outreach team had contact with 5,604 youth. Of these youth, 209 were placed in the caritas center; 383 were placed in family shelters; 107 were placed in shelters for youth under the age of 18; 398 were assisted with food vouchers; 4261 were provided with counseling; 71 were reunited with their families; 241 were assisted in returning to school; 21 were assisted with getting into a domestic violence shelter; 43 were assisted with getting into permanent housing and 87 were assisted with filling out job applications and provided with appropriate clothing for job interview. The remaining youth were given outreach cards and instructed to call if they or other youth they knew were ever in need of covenant house michigan services.