Homeless youth and young adults are in every major metropolitan area and tend to gravitate to central city areas because of transportation, a need for safety and to find a place where it is warm and dry. We know there is a concern about youth who spend time downtown Saint Paul, including in the skyways. As Executive Director of Face to Face Health and Counseling Service, I want to tell you that we are excited to bring a solution to disengaged young people in public spaces.
For 22 years Face to Face has operated SafeZone, a resource center for youth experiencing homeless in downtown St Paul. For the past 16 years SafeZone has occupied the basement of the Northern Warehouse building in Lowertown. This week we moved into bigger, brighter space in the Metro Square Annex building at 7th and Robert Streets with help from the generosity of the Ramsey County Board.
Young people, primarily between the ages of 18 and 24, struggle in this economy with housing, jobs and getting on their feet financially. Face to Face’s mission, Empowering youth to overcome barriers and strive toward healthy and self-sufficient lives helps young people in a variety of ways to find stability. SafeZone provides a safe place for youth to access resources including a computer lab, education assistance, mental health and medical care, housing and transportation assistance, laundry, food and clothing. It is a place where youth can be engaged in productive behavior leading them toward greater health and independence.
A ribbon cutting for the new home for SafeZone is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13 from 10:30 – Noon at 130 E. 7th Street. We will have tours of the center and a short program at 11:00. We also welcome visitors to learn more about Face to Face programs at our monthly informational tours. For information visit www.face2face.org or call me at 651 772-5556 to schedule a tour and see the tremendous resource that Face to Face SafeZone provides for young people struggling to get on their feet.