Community Education Digest
September 2017
Welcome to our Community Education Digest! The aim of Ozone House's Community Education Digest newsletter is to connect our community's resources and services with the youth and families who need them most. Each month, the Community Education Digest highlights an Ozone House program along with related resources in our community. Many of these resources can also be found in the Ozone House Info Cards shown below. 

This month we highlight our Engagement Program.

Engagement Program
Colleen O'Brien
Resources for Youth in our Community
The Education Project
Need Ozone House materials?

Engagement Program

The Engagement Program is a harm reduction program intended to engage youth in conversations surrounding substance use. The program hosts a Real Talk session at the Drop-In Center the first and third Tuesday of each month from 4:30 to 5:30pm. During these substance use education groups, young people can explore the ways in which substances impact our lives, communities, laws, culture, media & nation.
The Engagement Program at Ozone House offers:
  • Wellness Support
  • On-Site Substance Use Screening
  • One-on-one Educational Opportunities and Change Planning
  • Educational Group Activities
  • Advocacy Surrounding Access to Treatment Services
  • Resources and Referrals
*Please reach out if support if in need of transportation to a treatment/support program
If you are or know a young person between the ages 10-20 who might be interested in support/ education surrounding substance use please reach out to our 24 Hour Crisis Line at 734-662-2222 or to Chardae Korhonen, Engagement Program Manager directly at our Drop-In Center location at 734-485-222 or by email at

Small Changes Can Make a BIG Difference

Meet Cōlleen O'Brien

Cōlleen O'Brien (Co) is the Directory of Youth Opportunity and a fixture of Ozone House. Originally from Grand Ledge, Michigan, Cōlleen earned her undergraduate degree from University of Michigan and went on to complete her Masters in Social Work at EMU. Co has maintained her connection to Eastern Michigan University as a lecturer in the Social Work department.
Co first joined the Ozone House team in 1994 as a crisis line volunteer and has stuck around ever since! Proving herself as an asset on the lines, Co became a Phone Shift Supervisor providing excellent support to callers and crisis line staff. Even prior to finding her full time home with Ozone House, Co was involved with supporting folks within our community. First at the WIldflour Bakery, a non-profit community supportive bakery, and then with the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County. In 2000, Co moved into her first full time position with Ozone House as the Drop-In's first Case Manager.  Her place at the Drop-In was solidified when she took on the role of Director of Youth Opportunity in 2004. When asked what she loves about her role, Co says, "It's the opportunity to work together with young people who literally inspire (her) daily with their ideas, talents, and actions." Additionally, Ozone has created a work home that Co cannot imagine her life without - "the level of caring, kindness, and real support is something that I am thankful for every day." Co loves that Ozone House provides the opportunity to work in the community to make changes that help young people actually be safer and have more choices in their own lives.
When not stationed at the Drop-In, Co likes to hang out with her two chihuahuas, make collages, and ride bikes, whether she's in the cycling studio or on the shores of Lake Michigan. If you have the opportunity, stop by the Drop-In and say hello or send her an email at
Resources for Youth in our Community
Youth-Driven Events

Ypsilanti "Wake & Rise" Crusade

Youth in Ypsilanti want to see change in their community:
According to chief organizer DaQuann Harrison (they) are marching in unity to dismantle the trend of violence in our communities. Violence includes but aren't limited to shootings, murders, suicides, stigma of mental health, drugs etc. 

For more information please contact DaQuann Harrison via Facebook or call directly at (734)-657-9573. You can also check out this MLive article about the first of four events: 


Voices from Ozone

Ozone House's Speakout group is hosting a "Voices from Ozone" event on Sunday, Sept. 24th from 2:30-4pm at the Freighthouse (100 Market Pl.) in Ypsilanti.  The afternoon will feature theatrical pieces about youth homelessness (performed by young adults who have directly experiences homelessness or housing instability) and a dialogue session.  The aim is to engage policy makers and raise general awareness among other community stakeholders.  Please show your support by joining us on the 24th as well as helping to publicize this opportunity by sharing our flyer with your networks.
The Education Project Updates

Below is the updated referral for the 2017 - 2018 school year! Please use this referral when working with students and families this school year. Any questions about the new referral can be directed to

Click here to obtain a copy:  

The referral is intended to be filled out by school staff or community partners with the students or families in need of support. Once a referral is completed, the information should be shared with the Education Project staff as well as the Local Liaison. 


The Education Project, sometimes known as the Education Project for Homeless Youth, is designed to ensure that students experiencing homelessness or unstable living situations enroll, regularly attend, and succeed in school.  Under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, students who are homeless must have equal access to free and appropriate public education

The Education Project works closely with Liaisons in the school districts, Allies within each school, community partners, and families to identify and serve all youth affected by homelessness. 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Education Project

Who is Homeless?
Homelessness does not always look like a family living in a car or on the street; it exists in many different versions. The primary criteria we consider are: Is their housing Fixed? Is it Regular? And is it Adequate?

Fixed: Is it permanent or not subject to change? For example, is the person staying somewhere that they have a right to live? Are they not on the lease? Could they be asked to leave?
Regular: Are they staying the same place every night? Do they have to switch locations frequently?
Adequate: Is the residence sufficient? Do youth staying in the home have a bed to sleep in? Are there health risks and unsanitary conditions in the home? Does it meet the physical and psychological needs of a child?
Although we all hope that homelessness is very temporary, it can be a perpetual experience for many families and unaccompanied youth. It is important to ask these questions and understand each family and youth's situation.
How can I access the Education Project?
The education project is housed in the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. The website is  Here you can find information about who is eligible for McKinney-Vento services, what services are offered and additional links and supports around youth homelessness and education.
How can I help?
The Education Project relies on a combination of grant support from the state and donations from members of the community. Many of the items provided to families, like toiletries and school supplies, are supplied through donations. This allows the Education Project the ability to fund other school related expenses like field trips, sports/activities, tutoring services and temporary transportation for students. Additionally, the program is always looking for volunteers to help pack up supplies for youth as well as deliver supports to schools within the districts. By having a team of volunteers ready to disperse supplies, EPHY will serve families more effectively. Click here to learn about ways you can help:   The Education Project Volunteer Flyer
The Education Project office is staffed regularly Monday - Thursday from 9am - 3:30pm. 

Any questions regarding a young person's McKinney-Vento status and the supports available can be direct to, or by phone at (734) 994-8100 x1518.

If you know a youth or family who could benefit from Ozone House services,
please have them call our 24-hour Crisis Line:


There is always somebody here to listen. 
Need More Information About Ozone House?
Ozone House Poster

We will come to you!  
We provide educational presentations to middle and high school classrooms or assemblies, as well as organizations throughout Washtenaw County.
To order free printed education materials, or to schedule a presentation, 
contact Dawn Espy at 
call (734) 994-8100 x1518

Ozone House INFO Card

Ozone House Outreach Card
Ozone House Outreach Card

To learn more about all of our crisis intervention, housing or support services,  or to get involved with Ozone House,  please visit our website at