By Arbor Circle
For some people, being resilient is a way of life. As early as five years old, one Arbor Circle Homeless Youth client was removed from her mother who was selling drugs. During the course of multiple foster home placements and other times when she was physically and sexually abused, she was separated from her siblings and left completely on her own.
She dropped out of school in the 9th grade and ran away — again — staying with friends and other family members for short periods of time. She lived this way for years.
She then began prostituting herself with landlords for places to stay. When she came to Arbor Circle to see about the Homeless Youth program, she had just been told to leave a shelter home.
The Bridge of Arbor Circle is a safe shelter program for youth who are facing homelessness or considering running away. In the middle of crisis, The Bridge offers youth a stable and accessible place to stay. Along with a variety of supportive programs,it helps them connect with peers, learn new skills, and find resources to reconnect with their families, schools and community.
How it works
The Bridge provides crisis shelter, counseling, case management, group support, youth activities and connections to other needed services, The Bridge assists youth with meeting their basic needs, setting goals, building new life skills, and establishing connections with peers and mentors who can support them. Services include:
- Shelter services available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for up to 21 days
- Crisis Intervention
- Case management
- Community education and prevention services
- Service learning opportunities for civic engagement
The Bridge services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year to youth in need of safe shelter and supportive services due to issues such as safety, runaway/homelessness, and/or disconnection from family, school or community. Services are available for:
- Youth between the ages of 10-17, both Male and Female
- Youth staying/residing in the Counties of Kent, Ottawa, Montcalm, and Ionia
- Youth/families in crisis can call or walk in anytime
- Services are free
Are you or is a youth you know homeless or considering running away? The Bridge can help. Call toll-free 1.877.275.7792 or call 616.451.3001.
Arbor Circle’s main campus is located at 1115 Ball Ave. NE in Grand Rapids. Phone 616.456.6571 for more information. The Bridge 24-hour Hotline is: 616.451.3001.