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Arbor Circle's Host Home Program seeks volunteer hosts

Arbor Circle

Every day in West Michigan, over 3,000 young people experience homelessness. That’s according to the Michigan’s Center of Educational Performance and Information (CEPI).

But Ashley Pattee, clinical supervisor of youth development services at Arbor Circle, says it’s an issue that’s often overlooked.

“A lot of people in the community aren’t aware that there is youth homelessness that exists within our communities. We have youths who are sleeping on the streets and couch surfing every night.”

Designed to provide young adults with stable housing, Arbor Circle’s Host Home Program connects 18 to 20 year olds with volunteer hosts in the West Michigan area.

With the belief that housing is a right that everyone deserves, Pattee says it’s necessary to meet these young people’s basic needs.

“Youths are, as we all know, they are that next generation and we want to support them. We want to make sure that they have opportunities to grow and to learn and to meet some of their goals.”

According to Arbor Circle, family conflict, mental health, and gender identity are common factors that lead to youth homelessness. But Pattee says, this program gives the community the chance to be a part of the solution. 

“We hope to also remove some of the stigma around youth homelessness and really make a more open, affirming, accepting community too so that youths can be within the community and get the supports that they need.”

Arbor Circle is currently in need of volunteer hosts. For more information, visit arborcircle.org.

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