Overnight Shelter for Teens Opening in Ogden

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OGDEN, Utah--

One of the state's first overnight shelters for homeless teens is opening its doors in Ogden. But it still needs a little help from the community

to get the "Youth Futures Shelter" up and running. The rooms are still empty and the floors need some care, but this old group home is just what Kristen Mitchell and her partner Scott have been looking for."When I found this place it was really like it had been sent to us, " said Kristen Mitchell, Executive Director of Youth Futures Shelter Home. 


After years of looking, the couple bought the old group home at 2760 Adams Avenue last July. That's about the same time a new law went into effect that allowed shelters to house teens overnight.

Before this new law, it was illegal to harbor teens overnight. That meant kids would either be turned over to the authorities after eight hours or sent back out on the streets. 

"They can provide them a sleeping bag, a tent, food, clothing whatever resources they need and then they have to send them back out to sleep on the street," said Mitchell. 

Once the place is up and running the Youth Futures Shelter will have 15 beds where kids will be able to stay up to 20 days. "We'll help them access resources in the community, we'll help them find placement, reunite with families," said Mitchell. There's a perception that homeless youth are runaways or criminals, but when Stephanie Hales was working with the Human Rights Campaign she found out a majority of them have actually been kicked out of their homes. "The majority they figure between 40 to 60 percent are LGBT youth," said Hales. "A lot of times what happens to these youth is they get shunned by their families, their family kicks them out.  But now rather than living on the streets, in the mountains or underneath viaducts, these teens have a safe place to stay and some help to get back on their feet. "I would really like to be that resource that place where if you're struggling, if the kids do get kicked out, if they're living on the streets, if they run away a place where they can come," said Mitchell. Copyright 2014 good4utah.com Nexstar Broadcasting, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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