Organizations help homeless teens during dangerous cold
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Several Central Ohio organizations are making sure homeless youth have a warm place to stay during dangerous cold conditions.
A place to cook, wash clothes, use a computer or relax are basics available for young people at Star House. The organization serves as a drop-in shelter for youth experiencing some form of homelessness.
"It's really tough. It can become discouraging. So, sometimes you need time to get away and vent,” said Frace Cox.
Cox is one of the many people who rely on the services provided by Star House.
Ann Bischoff, CEO of Star House, explained the shelter made sure to get ready for their clients before the frigid temperatures arrived.
"As the winter months approach, we put out calls for coats, warm winter jackets, warm things: scarves, gloves, hats and so forth and the community responds beautifully,” said Bischoff.
Star House is not a 24-hour shelter. When the facility closed for the night, young people have to find another place.
Huckleberry House is a shelter filling the void. The crisis shelter is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week year-round.
"Just over the holiday, we had about 15 to 17 kids in our facility. So there's a need,” explained Melanie Gunther with Huckleberry House.
The shelter serves young people between the ages of 12-17 with food, clothes and a place to sleep. Gunther said the young people they serve come from a variety of backgrounds.
"We work with kids who are running away. Kids who have everyday problems, issues at home. We work with anyone."
Gunther explained if a homeless teen needs a place to stay there are several safe places where they can go such as a Kroger, White Castle, the main branch of the Columbus Public Library and fire houses. Once there, Huckleberry House will provide transportation to their facility. The service is available 24 hours and people can call for help at (614) 294-5553.