We provide short and long term residential safe space and support services for homeless, runaway, and at-risk LGBTQ youth.
To celebrate Pride month, we are highlighting a few of the many important members of our extended family. These people are advocates and allies who are committed to ending the epidemic of homelessness among lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender, and questioning youth in Detroit.
Rick and Janet Glasgow are part of our family, and we want to share their story with you. Here's a recent profile about their commitment to the Center:
Rick and Janet Glasgow bring more than fresh baked cookies and a home cooked meal when they come to the Ruth Ellis Center on Monday evenings. They bring a sense of stability for the LGBTQ teens who use the drop-in center.
The at-risk youth, often homeless or runaways, find safety and resources at Ruth Ellis. But it's the steady staff and regular volunteers that help the youth feel comfortable enough to use the center's services.
The Glasgows come from Sterling Heights every Monday to share both food and support to an average of 30 teens each week. When the weather is warm there are fewer, and on cold wintery days it can double.
Janet first learned about the Ruth Ellis Center in November 2011 when she saw that Gardner White, the furniture store, had included Ruth Ellis as one of their featured charities. Having grown up in an affirming home with three gay brothers, Janet had no problem being comfortable in the LGBT community. It wasn't until recently that the pain of rejection hit home.
"My brother's partner was diagnosed with end stage lymphoma. Even as he was dying his family didn't accept him. I knew I needed to be more active and involved. When I heard about Ruth Ellis, what a unique place it is, I knew."
She started in November and Rick joined her a few months later after recovering from back surgery.
Rick has built bonds with the teens also, and he takes his volunteering seriously. "Being gay, they're not accepted at home. We didn't have that problem. The kids need somewhere to be accepted. They need an older person to look up to and want to act like that gives them respect."
Read more at Between the Lines...
The Glasgows are doing their part for our youth. While we celebrate the LGBTQ community during this Pride month, we need you to support those who need it most -- our youth.
Join Janet and Rick in making a difference by giving today. Your support is crucial to end the epidemic of youth homelessness in southeast Michigan. We do this work so that, one day, all LGBTQ youth can be proud of who they are without fear of being kicked out of the house. Your donation can make that day come sooner.
Thank you for standing up for our youth,
Laura A. Hughes, MPH
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Ruth Ellis Center provides short and long term residential safe space and support services for homeless, runaway, and at-risk lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.
We are the midwest’s only agency, and one of four in the nation, that is solely dedicated to serving homeless, runaway, and at-risk LGBTQ youth. The Center honors the legacy of Ruth Ellis (1899-2000), an African-American lesbian activist who opened her Detroit home as a safe space for the LGBTQ community for years. With over a decade of experience providing safety net services, the Center continually evolves to meet the needs of LGBTQ homeless and runaway youth through strategic alliances and a youth-driven philosophy.
Our drop-in center provides fundamental support services in a safe environment. We offer crisis intervention services, counseling and mental health services, a cyber center, weekly support groups, an afternoon snack, an evening meal, a shower and personal hygiene supplies, laundry facilities, a clothes closet, and recreational activities. In 2011, the drop-in center served 4,309 youth.
Our residential housing program, Ruth’s House, provides a safe home for LGBTQ youth who have nowhere to go. In additional to housing, we offer basic life skills and counseling, interpersonal skill building, educational advancement, job preparation and attainment, mental health care, physical health care, and leadership development to youth in the program. In 2011, Ruth’s House provided a home to 18 youth. We know that many more youth in our region need safe residential space each year.