Life House Sees Huge Increase In Attendance
Helping Teens Contribute To The Community
Duluth’s homeless shelter for teens known as Life House has crunched attendance numbers and the growth is large.
A surge of more than 400% since 2012.
The numbers stem from the rise in teenage homelessness in our area.
For instance, in 2012 the number of teens seen only about 25% of them were homeless. If that isn’t bad enough in 2016 that number has grown to over 45%.
As you can imagine, that’s a lot of mouths to feed.
“The number one service offering is meals. We serve lunch and dinner. Last year we served about 12,500 meals through the drop in center to young people. Really the only criteria that they have to meet to come here is their age. They have to be at least 14 and they can’t be more than 24,” Says executive Director of Life House, Maude Dornfeld.
If you meet the criteria it’s an open door policy.
Once you arrive help is there if you need it. That includes over 30 beds throughout the community to help youth learn independent life skills.
“Once they come in to the drop in center we have a lot of recreational activities, we have a lot of independent living skills classes here and support groups. So they can find a lot of basic supports but of course with so many of them being homeless, we do try to offer as much housing as we can through our housing program,” Says Dornfeld.
We did ask if having a new administration in office was a concern for funding. She told me, “we try to do our best to not panic, but we’ll try to be very resourceful and creative so that we don’t have to cut back on the services that are so needed.”
They are always taking donations of clothing food or monetary.
Two of their teens just graduated with their associates degree and are now pursuing their 4 year degree at St. Scholastica and UWS.