Established 18 years ago, the goal of the Ruth Ellis Center is to provide trauma-informed services for homeless, runaway and at-risk LGBTQ youth and young adults of color. Today it serves as the only residential foster care program specifically for LGBTQ youth in the entire Midwest. Jerry Peterson called 2018 and “extraordinary year” for the center and is dedicated to finding new “and innovative ways to ensure LGBTQ youth can be safe and supported in all systems of care.”
“From healthcare to housing, child welfare to employment, REC’s unwavering commitment to the young people they serve has resulted in unparalleled growth, and new opportunities to have an even greater impact on outcomes for LGBTQ youth nationwide,” Peterson said. “Even still, if asked, REC will tell you that it is the legacy of Ruth Ellis herself, and her commitment to the Detroit community she loved that inspires them to keep forging ahead.”
This means that 2019 will face a period of expansion.
“First, the Center is looking at the full housing continuum for young people experiencing homelessness or currently residing in unstable housing. REC will begin to look at ways it can assist the shelter system in providing safer and better outcomes for LGBTQ youth in crisis, particularly in the winter months when few options are available,” he said. “And while affirming shelter programs are critical, the Center also recognizes the need to expand housing options for LGBTQ young people by looking into scattered site apartments and developing a short-term host home program while helping young people find more permanent supportive housing.”