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House of Hope is finding new ways to fight youth homelessness in Green Bay

Ribbon Cutting at House of Hope for The Drop In, December 12, 2022. (WLUK/Lydia Andersen){ }
Ribbon Cutting at House of Hope for The Drop In, December 12, 2022. (WLUK/Lydia Andersen)
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GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- The atrium of the House of Hope has been remodeled and will now be a safe space for young people experiencing homelessness.

Staff showed off the new space to community members Monday, it's called "The Drop In."

"That will be available to our community 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year," says House of Hope Executive Director, Shannon Wienandt.

A young girl staying at the shelter helped bring this vision to life.

"She really wanted to see some additional services in our community for youth in her same situation, so she drew us a diagram of what she thought it should look like," says Wienandt.

Anyone from sixth grade to 17 years old who is experiencing homelessness can use The Drop In.

It's a safe, quiet space to go, where resources are available to them.

"They can connect with caring young adult professionals, they can receive counseling services, they can do their laundry, they can come here and take a shower if they need to," says Wienandt.

Staff at House of Hope spent a lot of time writing grants and reaching out to community partners in order to make the remodel happen.

"We were able to get a basic needs partnership grant. We were supported by U.S. Venture, by J. J. Keller, by the Stand Together Foundation at the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, so we were really able to come together with all private funding," says Beth Hudak, Director of Community Engagement at House of Hope.

The staff and volunteers at the facility will help them establish a more stable lifestyle.

There are also resources for mental health.

"Especially when you are in online school and you don't have any place to actually be around other people who understand the things that you've been through," says Hudak.

Beth Hudak says the latest numbers are alarming.

She says, according to the Department of Public instruction, one in every 27 students experienced homelessness, in the Green Bay Area Public School system, during the 2020-2021 school year.

"The youth that we are serving are couch hopping, they're not just couch hopping between aunt and uncle or friends, you know sometimes they are just staying at someone they barely knows house just so they have a place to sleep," says Hudak.

60% of the clients served at House of Hope are children.

Follow this link for more information on volunteering and donations.

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