Living in the woods?
Yes, there are homeless people in Monroe.
Yes, many of them are teenagers living in the woods.
Every week as many as 40 homeless teens visit the Next Step.
Homeless teens don't have a romantic or adventurous notion about running away to something good. In most cases, they are fleeing from something very bad...
...parents who abuse their kids, alcohol, and / or drugs. Maybe their mother has a new boyfriend and there isn't "room" for them anymore. Or, they were kicked out of the house when they turned 18. There are many reasons...none of them are good.
Homelessness is particularly difficult for teens.
It's almost impossible to stay in school. Jobs are difficult to find and keep when you can't shower every morning. Most teen shelters require your parent's permission to stay there...the same parents you ran away from.
Without a "real" or permanent address, you can't renew your drivers license or ID...without ID, you can't get into school. It's a vicious circle.
They're great kids and we believe in them!
THE GROOVY ROOM
With the help of "our" teens and volunteers, we remodeled the old garage behind the Next Step and turned it into "The Groovy Room", a place where "our" teens can find shelter, warmth, and safety. It's totally groovy - look at those couches!
Inside The Groovy Room we have a foosball table, art supplies, video games, and all the usual stuff teens like, including good snacks.
We'd like to open The Groovy Room at least two afternoons a week. To do that, we need volunteers. "Our" kids aren't at all scary. They have really good hearts and most want to change their lives and situations. They want a hope and a future.
You can be a part of that...
Building relationships is the most important thing we can do for teens who have left their homes and families. Spending time together with them, getting to know them well enough to hear their stories, and being a positive presence are powerful. You can help us do that...
- Come to our Community Dinners - a great place to meet and get to know "our" teens
- Volunteer to help keep The Groovy Room open
- Work with teens to obtain identification
- Encourage and help them find an appropriate place for school
- Tutoring and mentoring
- Other ideas? Get in touch with us!
or call our office at (360) 794-1022
after school program
for teens and youth
teen parent group
for homeless and street involved youth
More than 50 churches, community organizations, and businesses have come alongside to help and partner with The Next Step. Find out how you can become a part of this important work and...
MEET OUR PARTNERS
open10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Tuesdays at 6:00 pm
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