YOUNG ADULT HOMELESS SHELTER EYES NEW FACILITY TO EXPAND ASSISTANCE EFFORTS
COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Monday, Columbus City Council will be asked to help a part of the population that few […]
COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Monday, Columbus City Council will be asked to help a part of the population that few of us ever see: homeless teenagers and young adults.
The lucky ones find their way to Star House.
Alex Wohlwend can relax because he’s safe. He came from Russia at age 10. Now at 20, he’s homeless. For the last six weeks, he’s lived at Star House, a refuge for homeless young adults. The staff shelters them, counsels them, and helps them find jobs.
It is a big contrast for Alex.
“(There was) nowhere to eat food, nowhere to go,” Alex explains. “If I’m looking for a job, I’m really not in a stable position to look for a job, because once I get a job, I’m always struggling to eat and always struggling to find a place to sleep. This place always helps me with that.”
City Council President Andy Ginther says it’s about repairing the broken trust and the betrayal that many of the kids have experienced.
When it opened in 2006, 200 kids a year showed up. This year, it’s on track to serve 700.
The Star House is currently in a 1,800 square foot facility. However, the Board is in contract to buy a new place with 14,000 square feet. On Monday, Ginther will ask Council to give Star House $300,000 toward the new facility.
“They need a renovated, expanded space to provide the services and help to meet the needs of some of our youngest, most vulnerable citizens,” said Ginther.
Star House is supported by Ohio State University as well as public and private groups. It has commitments for 60 percent of the cost of buying and renovating the new space.