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Local homeless youth receive helping hand through new program

This year Mid Michigan Community Action is launching a new program: Project Impact. With funding from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the program focuses on improving the lives of runaway and homeless youth in Bay and Arenac Counties through housing assistance and the coordination of services including case management, counseling and life skills training.

“With Project Impact we have the opportunity to create a brighter future for teenagers and young adults struggling with homelessness in mid-Michigan,” said Jill Sutton, executive director of Mid Michigan Community Action. “Our goal with the program is to provide participants with the support needed to establish a solid foundation upon which they build the rest of their lives.”

To be eligible for Project Impact individuals must:
• Be at risk of becoming or currently be a runaway or a homeless youth
• Have not graduated high school
• Be between the ages of 12 and 20
• Currently be in Bay or Arenac Counties

Once in the program, a homeless youth resource specialist becomes the youth’s advocate and point of contact. A service plan, tailored to their specific situation and needs, guides the path to self-sufficiency. Initial efforts will focus on a change from homeless status to settled. The first choice is reunification, if possible. When reunification is not feasible or appropriate, depending on a participant’s age they will be placed into a host home approved by Adoption Option, Inc. or will be provided assistance with obtaining housing. After housing has been established, participants will receive additional support outlined in their custom service plan.

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