Staircase Provides Guidance, Support, and Hope to At-Risk Teens

Adolescence can be a tumultuous time for tweens and teens as well as their families. Youth between 12-21 are building their identities, looking for acceptance, and yearning for independence. All these factors can cause these years to be difficult on the child and his or her family.

Staircase Youth Services is a community outreach program that has been in existence since 1979. The organization provides youth and family intervention services in Mason, Lake, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford counties. Staircase staff seeks to bring guidance, support, and hope to those who utilize their services. Staircase provides services which are free of charge, confidential, voluntary, and community-based.

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At-Risk and Runaway Services

These services are geared at children ages 12-17 and encompass crisis intervention, initial assessment and intake, referral to other community services as necessary, short-term problem solving for youth and families, and temporary foster care.

Homeless Services

Homeless services are available to those ages 17-20 and include the Transition to Adulthood Program (TAP), Outreach Program, Runaway Youth Services, and Homeless Youth Drop-In Center. TAP is a program designed to assist older teens and 20-year olds transition successfully into adulthood. The target population of the service is those who are homeless or living in an at-risk situation. Clients are placed in host homes where a caring adult provides housing, mentoring, and support and a Homeless Youth Specialist from Staircase helps the client draw up a plan to transition to independence. The program also provides financial assistance for housing and helps the client find schooling and/or employment.

The Staircase Outreach Program works with those ages 12-20 to provide a confidential and safe outlet for them to discuss problems that may be harmful to their overall welfare. Also offered is crisis intervention and help locating other community services that help meet the youth's immediate needs. These services may include public assistance, mental health services, clothing, 21-day emergency foster care for youth in crisis or at-risk of running away, etc.

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Runaway Youth Services

Runaway Youth Services through Staircase focuses on preventing youth from running away, strengthening youth and families, and diverting youth from becoming children of "the system". Many services are provided by Youth Outreach Specialists working in this program including outreach, 24-hour crisis intervention, assessment and referrals, solution-focused counseling, case management, short-term voluntary foster care, and a Summer Enrichment Program.

Staircase provides Homeless Youth Services by helping homeless youth people locate safe housing, stability, proper role modeling, and adequate supervision; and prepare for independent living.

Drop-in Center

The Staircase Drop-In Center is designed to meet immediate needs of teens up to age 21 and is generally held one night per week. Services provided at a drop-in center are: evening meal, laundry facilities or tokens, life skills instruction, housing resources, recreational opportunities, needs assessment, life skill instruction, and support. The Ludington Drop-in Center was previously located at Journey High school but has been cancelled until further notice.

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Community Services

Staircase provides community services through programs like Youth Advocacy, Prevention programs, and providing speakers to groups, clubs, churches, classes, etc.

Staircase Youth Services is located at 5880 W. US 10 in Ludington. Call them at (231) 843-3200 or at their 24 hour hotline: 1-888-267-6086.

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Last Updated: 12-23-2019 02:32 PM ID: 1762