According to East Jordan Public Schools, 63 kids within their district are homeless. Many others have a house to live in, but long for a place to be loved and accepted.
Now, a group of local volunteers is determined to meet those needs with “The Depot,” a community teen center that project leaders hope will provide, “A place to be and a path to become.”
The center does not yet exist but planning has been underway over the past year.
“We do not have a location yet, though we’ve been evaluating options,” spokesman Jeff Richey told the Boyne City Gazette. “Our goal is to begin programming on a limited basis beginning in September in a rented location.”
Interested community members have been meeting monthly to plan for the youth center.
“The hard work has already been done. This group has already developed a clear vision, mission and purpose, a strategic plan to achieve it, formed a board and by-laws, and incorporated as a 501(c)3” said project advisor Bart Adams.
The group is looking forward to opportunities this summer, including the annual Freedom Festival, to share the vision and rally people to the cause.
Several individuals and organizations have already contributed financially, and significant monthly support has been pledged to start once programming begins.
The group hopes to see that happen, at least on a limited basis, this fall.
“We approved a job description for a part-time director to help us get there, and we’re looking for candidates,” said Aimee Gibbert, the teen center’s board president. “Choosing that person is the single most important decision we’ll make.”
The organization recently received a boost in the form of a $4,000 grant from Pat O’Brien & Associates.
The Depot is a 501(c)3 non-profit, and able to receive tax-deductible donations via check sent to PO Box 854, East Jordan, 49727
or via Paypal on The Depot Jordan Valley Teen Center Facebook page.
Cash donations will be accepted at our first community fundraiser cookout will be at Memorial Park on Friday, July 22 at 5pm.
For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/TheDepotJVTeenCenter/?fref=ts
Call the East Jordan Community Church at (231) 536-2299 for more information.
PICTURED IN THE FEATURED PHOTO: Teen center representatives are pictured receiving a donation from Pat O’Brien and Associates Realtors of Boyne City. Pictured (from left) are Patrick O’Neill, Gary Roberts, Gloria Kramer, Matt Hamilton, Aimee Gibbert and Brad Carey.