ANN ARBOR - Local nonprofit Ozone House is celebrating 50 years of helping youth in crisis by providing comprehensive services to children and their families. It will be opening a brand-new home for youth seeking emergency shelter in Ypsilanti at the end of the year.
The agency has already broken ground on its new 19,000-square-foot facility at 1600 N. Huron River Drive and has raised more than $3.8 million for the project through its Front Door fundraising campaign.
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"The new home will have 16 private bedrooms that can sleep up to 32 young people, up from five shared rooms that sleep 12 at their two current facilities, 11 dedicated counseling rooms, three kitchens, seven youth bathrooms, a food pantry, multiple laundry and shower facilities, easy access to public transportation and be fully ADA compliant," campaign co-chair Susan Allison said in a statement. "The house will be on the Huron River on a beautifully wooded lot, ideal for providing young people a space to heal and overcome trauma."
"When young people walk through our front door, it changes the trajectory of their lives," Ozone House Executive Director Krista Girty said in a statement. "Young people that are fleeing violence, neglect, or rejection need to know there is safe place they can go in their community. We have been doing this work for 50 years and it’s time our facilities’ quality to match the quality of our services. Ozone House has moved seven times in its 50 year history and is ready for the stability of a forever home in the community."
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Homeless youth are particularly at risk and vulnerable to the dangers of sexual assault, physical assault and human trafficking. Ozone House helps young people age 10 to 24 in Washtenaw County by providing them with shelter. It also provides free services to youth and their families 24/7.
According to Ozone House, in 2018 the nonprofit:
- Reached over 4,000 young people
- Served 11,150 hot meals
- Helped 2,100 youths via the 24/7 phone, text and chat line
- Distributed 1,000 backpacks to homeless students in local schools
- Offered tailored support to 800 youths with services including housing, health care, therapy and job training
- Provided a safe, warm bed to 100 youths at Ozone House
50th Anniversary Celebration
Members of the community are invited to celebrate Ozone House's 50th anniversary.
When: June 2
Hours: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: The Farm at St. Joe's (5557 McAuley Drive, Ypsilanti)
RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guests are asked to park in the farm driveway in designated parking areas.
According to a press release, "The event will be part community event, part reunion. Guests will span five decades of Ann Arbor history. Guests include staff, volunteers, donors, clients and friends of Ozone House. Local politicians including Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor Mayors and Congresswoman Dingell have all been invited to attend."
During the family friendly event, guests will be able to tour the new home and hear presentations from young people.
About Ozone House
Ozone House is a community-based organization that offers young people, who are in crisis, face homelessness or housing instability, a safe space. We help youth lead safe, healthy, and productive lives through intervention and prevention services, and programming that meets the needs of youth seeking supports. Services include emergency services, counseling, drop-in center, transitional housing, job training, leadership opportunities, LGBTQ+ services, college support, school support K-12, and substance abuse support. Ozone House has been in the community since 1969. For more information, visit www.ozonehouse.org.
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