Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
DETROIT – Santa has already made a visit to the Ruth Ellis Center this year, in the form of caring community members who saw to it that residents of Ruth’s House and the regulars who visit the drop-in center will have lots to be thankful for this holiday season.
About 50 LGBT teens wrote wish lists this year, listing three items or a cap of $50.
“They asked for everything from specific music to makeup, video tapes,” said Grace McClelland, executive director of REC. “Some of them wanted paper to write on, someone asked for a Bible. We’re also doing lots of arts and crafts at the center so lots of them were asking for these kinds of things.”
Books were another popular item with the kids.
“We have a really nice library at the drop-in center that kids used, but they actually asked for some books that they don’t have down there that they wanted to read,” McClelland said. “It was really kind of fun stuff, and then some kids just needed like basic survival stuff, like coats, hats, gloves and they asked for that.”
The kids were “adopted” by members of the Praise Fellowship Church in Ferndale, PFLAG-Detroit and also by Amy Lynch and her hockey team. But there were several more Santas who looked out for the center this year. The National Association of Catering Executives decorated both Ruth’s House and the drop-in center. The group will also host a holiday dinner for the residents of Ruth’s House and a party at the drop-in center. CarHart and the Salvation Army donated coats, Ford GLOBE took up a collection to buy the drop-in center a new refrigerator and Just 4 Us held a Ruth Ellis Center day, donating 10 percent of the day’s proceeds to the center.
Brandon, who’s 19, said that for him the best part about spending Christmas at Ruth’s House is that “you can get to spend time with people you can really relate to and talk to about personal things and the quality time is like spending time with family.”
Ruth’s House, which opened about 10 months ago, is currently undergoing some reworking. Half of the house is transitional living, and the other half will soon open as a shelter for LGBT youth ages 12-18. The shelter will offer a 14-30 day program.
“They will come in quickly and leave pretty quickly with the goal of family reunification or other kinds of permanent residency,” McClelland said.
The Center also owns the home next door and is hoping to have it opened in fall 2005.