LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — There are multiple homeless shelters across Mid-Michigan but sometimes they’re not the right fit for teens and young adults on their own or ones who have experienced trauma.
A Jackson nonprofit called My Place is working to bridge that gap.
My Place does things a little differently than typical homeless shelters. Instead, it has rented a house that can take in six young women at one time. Their goal is to create a place that feels like home.
“If our young women don’t feel cared for, they’re not going to thrive,” said My Place executive director Alexandria Fagan.
The organization was founded in 2021 to prevent human trafficking.
“Research shows that this age group of youth and young adults when homeless are the most vulnerable to trafficking in our area and beyond,” Fagan said.
Thanks to a partnership with Jackson Interfaith Shelter, My Place has been renting a house to provide teenage girls and young women a place to stay and food to eat.
“We really try to fill the gap in community that we see, because unfortunately it’s really tough for teens to be fostered and adopted. When the youth age out of foster care, often there isn’t a ton of support in that transition,” Fagan said.
But the organization does much more than provide a place to stay. It offers mental health services, mentorships, and a support system residents can rely on — even after they’re gone.
“I’ve seen one graduation in my time as resident director, and it’s been amazing to just watch her flourish and she is still in contact with me. So, it’s just cool to see the way that they know they have us in their back of their pocket for the rest of their lives,” said Courtlyn Paule, resident director at My Place.
My Place can currently help six women at a time, having helped a total of 22 woman so far. But organizers are happy to announce they will be expanding in Jackson — almost doubling the amount of people they can help.
“We just received board approval to move forward with a second home which is very exciting we will be obtaining that and start renovations soon. And we are exploring the possibility of serving young men in the same capacity that we serve young women,” Fagan said.