By Kelly Peters
DETROIT – After waiting for almost a year, Ruth Ellis Center has been approved for a $1 million federal grant to fund a transitional living residence for disowned lgbt teens.
The grant, from the Department of Health and Human Services, will be distributed as $200,000 a year for five years.
In addition to the grant, the Center has also secured funds to start renovating the home, named “Ruth’s House,” in May.
The new home will accommodate up to 10 to 12 teens a year.
Allen said some of the money will be used to hire staff: an official executive director for the Center, a transitional living program director to run the programs within the home, and a full-time, live-in social worker.
Two additional grants from the Michigan State Housing Authority and the Michigan Housing Trust Fund, along with in-kind donations from area plumbers, electricians and other skilled tradespeople, will finance home renovations.
“The community is very receptive to what we’re doing and willing to help out.”
Ruth’s House is the final step in a three-part outreach program to expand the Center’s resources and abilities.
The first part consisted of a street outreach program, also funded by a three-year grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. The second part was the Host Home Project, which matched homeless youth with people in the community willing to take them into their homes.
Allen stressed the important and critical step of securing the money to build and operate the new home, which is located in the New Center area of Detroit.
“Some of these grants contain a matching a requirement,” he said. “We plan to continue fundraising. We did the work we have done with the help of smaller grants that we are really grateful for…
“Government funding is not guaranteed, it’s competitive and it’s always changing. We can’t count on it forever. We are looking to the future and focusing on not depending on one kind of funding.”