Alliance For Youth staff and volunteers on Thursday moved their center to a more permanent home at 3220 11th Avenue South, which will serve as a home-base for the community’s homeless teens.
According to the agency, Great Falls is home to nearly 450 homeless teenagers, and the community needs more resources to prevent and alleviate teenage homelessness.
The Youth Resource Center's Director of Operations, Lisa Beavers, said this move has been more than a decade in the making: "The vision for having a youth resource center is a fifteen-year vision."
The new facility will allow Alliance For Youth to expand from an outreach program to one that provides resources for teenagers in need.
“It’'ll be a resource that will have laundry resources, food. we'll have a kitchen. we'll have a hot meal every day. They'll be able to get job referral help, resume help, GED help,” beavers said.
Beavers said the center will be a low-barrier facility where homeless teens can easily access their resources.
“The most important thing is acceptance and love and food. The basic needs,” Beavers said.
The Youth Resource Center will officially open to the public in January.
“Our long-term vision is to keep this open so that it outlives us,” Beavers said.
But the Alliance for Youth needs help to get their center up and running. The team needs volunteers to work in the enter, assist with small construction projects, provide one meal each month to feed those at the center, and volunteer drivers to serve on the transportation committee.
You can donate the following items to the center: gender-specific items for hygiene kits, new socks, underwear & bras, new or gently-used teen clothing clothing, and boots & coats.
Monetary donations are also accepted.
If you are interested in helping with construction or transportation contact Kristy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406.781.9938. If you’d like to work in the center or provide a monthly meal contact lisa at email@example.com.
The Alliance For Youth website provides this overview:
Youth will have access to food, clothing and hygiene items, in addition to shower and laundry facilities. The resource center will not be a shelter but will provide an important space for youth to escape the elements and—for a short time—a chance to rest and refocus. Our goal will be, as expeditiously as possible, to divert youth toward stable housing, employment, education, and well-being.
Alliance for Youth will coordinate meals, which will be donated from local businesses, churches and/or community members. There will be a dry-serve kitchen for re-heating and/or preparing non-grease item foods.
Alliance for Youth’s Resource Center will utilize community partners to move the youth from surviving to thriving. Initially, case management support (housing, transportation needs, obtaining a birth certificate or ID, job skills, etc.), community support groups (AA, NA, SMART Recovery) and other life skills support assistance will be provided within the center. In the initial stages, programming will vary as we develop and track common trends of individual needs of the youth. With that said, we will strive to meet youth where they are and find creative solutions to their individual needs.