Grant helps support emergency shelter

Grant helps support emergency shelter

The number of youth facing homelessness has been growing at an alarming rate.

In Youth In Need's service area, the number of homeless students increased 114 percent over the last seven school years, from 5,886 (2009-2010) to 12,599 (2016-2017). These numbers include counts of 803 homeless students in St. Charles County, 409 in Warren County and 100 in Lincoln County.

This disturbing trend has impacted the emergency shelter operated by Youth In Need. Last year, the organization served more than 250 youth in its shelter. The house, located at 529 Jefferson in St. Charles, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With just 12 beds available for youth ages 10 to 18 who are experiencing crisis, it is often at full capacity.

The agency recently was awarded a $1,000 Operation Round Up grant from the Cuivre River Electric Community Trust. The funds will help the agency provide basic items such as food, hygiene, clothing and bedding for the shelter, as well as provide supplies to start a life skills cooking class.

“We’re so appreciative of Cuivre River Electric's support of our Emergency Shelter,” said Pat Holterman-Hommes, Youth In Need president and CEO. “Grants like the one from Cuivre River help meet some of the most basic needs for the youth at our shelter at a time when surviving is often all they’ve been able to do.

"When youth come to the shelter, providing them with everyday comforts like food, clothing and hygiene supplies can help make this emergency respite feel more like a home.”

The emergency shelter program  provides a safe haven from abuse, family crisis intervention and shelter for homeless children and teens. Youth In Need provides counseling and other support services to help youth reunite with their families, when appropriate, or find an alternative living situation. Participation in the program is voluntary and is free to participants.

To learn more about Youth In Need, call the agency's 24-hour help line at 636-946-3771 or visit www.youthinneed.org.

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