In The Zone Newsletter                               February 2017
Winter 2017 Crisis Line Training Class
Successful Crisis Line Counselor Training

Last year Ozone House received over 2200 crisis line calls from youth, their families, and other people that care about them. 

Typical callers are seeking support around topics such as housing instability, employment, gender identity, sexual orientation, suicide, abuse and neglect, and family conflict.
 
After completing a 40 hour professional training in crisis intervention, volunteers commit to a four hour shift once a week for a year. Some of that time is spent observing crisis calls and learning from their shift mates. By the time our crisis line volunteer counselors "go live" on the lines, they are able to provide a critical service to the community we hope to support, using both compassion and technical skill.
 
For many folks, their first interaction they have with Ozone House is calling our crisis line. You could be the first person someone talks to about their hopes for a safer, healthier, and more productive outcome.
 

Ozone House is always seeking compassionate volunteers to become Crisis Line counselors.

For more information about volunteering  click here.
Congratulations to our WorkZone Graduates

Eight amazing youth participated in our WorkZone program that ends today, March 3rd.

Job hunting can seem overwhelming when, for so long, your focus has been on finding a safe space to sleep at night. That's why Ozone House created WorkZone, an employment training and paid internship program so homeless or vulnerable youth, ages 18-20, can prepare for their first job.
Volunteer Ryan Wallace , of Cultivate Coffee and Tap, helps a young person with his resume

Eight youth from across Washtenaw County took the initiative to change their lives by participating in our WorkZone program this session. All of the youth have dreams and aspirations and are looking for some training, guidance, and motivation to head out to the workforce. The group learned about work behavior, interview skills, resume writing and so much more. Youth that participate in the program not only get training, but also get a job coach and a case manager. 

All of this effort culminates in a 100-hour internship in the community, paid for by Ozone House.

Click HERE to learn more about WorkZone and how you or your company can get involved. 
Over 3500 School Surveys Completed

Ozone House initiated over 3500 surveys to all the school districts in Washtenaw County, to include Chelsea, Dexter, Lincoln, Manchester, Milan, Saline, Whitmore Lake, and Ypsilanti Schools, with the exception of Ann Arbor Public  Schools.   

Why do a survey?
The initial impetus for distributing this survey came from the Ozone House Speakout group.   Up to this point, the group had been drawing on their own personal experiences to inform their education and advocacy work.  In order to both have a better sense of the extent of youth homelessness in our community and represent the diversity of those experiences, they wanted to reach out to more youth. 
 
How many homeless youth are there in our community?
Every year the Department of Housing and Urban Development designates a day in January for a count of people experiencing homelessness in a specific community.  This count provides a snapshot based on that one night.  Because of the hidden nature of youth homelessness, however, traditional methods of counting homeless persons are not effective to identify youth.  Additionally, in our community, there aren't many youth living directly on the streets (especially not in January).  Instead, young people bounce from house to house (couch surf) or stay in overcrowded households. (See published results here).
 
The district homeless liaisons and the county-wide  Education Project  (Ozone House program) serve as sources of data for homelessness among school-aged youth.  However, we also recognize that youth experiencing homelessness often feel shame and embarrassment about their situation and may go to great lengths to hide it.  This makes it difficult, even for those having regular interactions, to k now if a young person is experiencing housing instability or other crises.  As a result, we believe the number of youth experiencing homeless is underrepresented in the current data and that the prevalence and need is significantly greater.
 
Consequently, Speakout initiated a youth surveying effort in both school and community settings.   In addition to administering the survey, Ozone House staff and volunteers had a presence in the schools that day to provide individual support and share information about Ozone House services and other community resources for youth.  To reach out-of-school youth, key youth providers were approached to administer the survey or host a survey team that same day.
 
There are several intended outcomes for this endeavor. 
1.  The community will have more accurate data about the number and needs of homeless youth.  This information can be used locally to identify gaps in services and barriers to accessing services as well as guide the development of new resources.  
2. On a larger scale, the data will supplement the community's Point-In-Time Count and be used to demonstrate need.  
3. We hope this effort will yield an increased awareness of youth homelessness and the services and supports available through Ozone House among students and school personnel.  
4. Lastly, we believe this effort will amplify the voices of young people in our community.  
Home Sweet Home

On February 16th Ozone House hosted over 100 people at Zingerman's Greyline. Thanks to our supporters, we were able to raise over $15,000 towards our Kicked-Out Fund supporting LGBTQ+ services and our 24-hour Crisis Line. 

The event had fabulous music, great food, hand-selected wines, unique auction items, and great company. The evening culminated in a speech by Ozone House's own Case Manager, Cayla Yuhn. Cayla told an emotional story about a transgender youth who was not accepted by his family, his friends, or his schoolmates. This young person was able to find safety and community at Ozone House.  See facebook live video of the speech here.
GET INVOLVED
March 4
2:00 - 3:00 pm

Charity Class: Ozone House Edition!  #PassionatePURPLEOUT
Wear your purple workout gear and join us on March 4, at Applied Fitness Solutionsfor  a circuit class that is upbeat, scalable to any fitness level,  and 60 mins of pure fun! We'll be doing boxing, TRX,  body weight, dumbbells, and more! All supervised by an  awesome Applied Fitness Solutions coach.

Trivia contest about homeless youth during each station transition. What could be more fun than winning prizes while you work out? (if you want to cheat, study the facts at www.ozonehouse.org)

The fee of $20 will be donated to Ozone House.
Register by March 3 and arrive no later than 1:45 pm on March 4.
March 25
Probility Ann Arbor Marathon
Always wanted to be in a marathon? Now you can, even if you don't run! Consider volunteering for the marathon on behalf of Ozone House. Ozone House is the featured charity for the event and in return we need to provide 16 volunteers. Pick your time and location to volunteer. 


On-going
The Education Project
  • Volunteers are needed to help pack supplies for youth, deliver supplies to schools, and/or plan drives for toiletries and school supplies.
  • If interested, please email Susan Allison, Volunteer Coordinator.
 Ozone House 1 705 Washtenaw Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48104 |
24-hour Crisis Line: 734-662-2222 | Office: 734-662-2265 |