Ruth Ellis Center, based in Michigan’s Highland Park, is the only organization in the state that is mission specific to LGTBQ youth experiencing homelessness. Annually, it provides services for over 500 LGBTQ youth.
The young people served by the nonprofit experience a variety of health disparities including trauma, substance use disorder, and HIV/AIDS. In southeast Michigan, Ruth Ellis provides LGBTQ youth with essential residential safe space and support services, including emergency and basic needs services, job search preparation, and mental health services.
Demand for the center’s services is high and exceeds current capacity. IFF’s $850,000 in loans is bridging the capital campaign to turn an empty first floor into a fully integrated behavioral health and primary care health center. Offering both services in a one-stop setting is recognized as a national best practice model and will be critical as Ruth Ellis moves to become nationally accredited.
The renovation will add three exam rooms, allow 1,500 new client visits annually, and create two full-time employee positions. Additionally, the new space will allow the center to begin providing substance use disorder prevention and treatment services.