Rainbow House efforts heat up as temperatures drop

1 year 4 months 1 week ago January 12, 2016 Jan 12, 2016 Tuesday, January 12 2016 Tuesday, January 12, 2016 3:16:00 AM CST in News
By: Taylor Reid, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA- As the weather gets colder it’s important to stay bundled up. But for some people in Columbia, this isn’t a possibility.

Youth homelessness is an issue Rainbow House is looking to spread awareness.  

Rainbow House is a nonprofit organization that aims to keep children safe and support families in crisis through prevention, assessment, and intervention. 

Mark Kirchhoff is the Outreach Case Manager at Rainbow House and works to find adolescents, mainly between the ages of 16 and 17, who need a warm place to stay.

This particular age group is important because for a variety of homeless shelters throughout Columbia, the person is required to be 18 years old. This leaves out a hefty demographic of homeless residents in the community, and that is where Rainbow House steps in.

"We work with guidance counselors and youth in high schools," Kirchhoff said. "We want them to know that if you know someone in this situation you can tell them you've heard of Rainbow House and to give us a call."

As temperatures gradually fall the motivation to help as many kids as possible heats up.

"If they're on the streets in below freezing temperatures obviously there's a risk for death," Kirchhoff said. "So we do operate on maybe a more emergency level where if we need to bring them in we'll get them resources and try to get them stabilized at that point." 

Regardless of the weather conditions or season, Kirchoff said Rainbow House always tries to operate with urgent care. 

"There are a lot more services available for people who are 18 and older," Kirchoff said. 

Kirchhoff said one of his main priorities is to try and prevent at-risk youth from becoming homeless. He hopes to lower the numbers of homeless youth by speaking about prevention at city council meetings, schools and other public educational platforms.

Although Rainbow House does what it can to spread awareness and inform people of the services they offer, when it comes to finding youth who need assistance they largely have to wait for the kids to come to them.

Kirchhoff said one way to encourage youth to seek help if they need it is to lose the public stigma surrounding homelessness. 

"The idea is sometimes that it's somebody who doesn't want to follow the rules or maybe do drugs or are bad kids and don't want to work," Kirchhoff said. "I think we really need to change the idea, a paradigm shift of what we consider and what we know in that community."

A great way to break the stigma is to volunteer and spend time around the homeless community to gain a better understanding. 

"You're able to see they are kids just like you and I, that have been through in most cases a lot of trauma and are working through that and trying to survive," Kirchhoff said. 

Rainbow House is planning on expanding its outreach services to the community and error more on the prevention side of youth homelessness by working closely with schools and other resources to help kids in neeed. 

"We really want to try and work with youth before they need our full transitional living services," Kirchhoff said. 

Ultimately, Kirchhoff said communities must work together to combat youth homelessness by evaluating and assisting at-risk youth and referring those in need to facilities equipped to care for them.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The man shot Monday on Dawn Ridge Road has died and robbery does not appear to be a... More >>
5 minutes ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 3:25:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - So far in 2017 the Central Missouri Humane Society has brought in over 200 animals and is looking... More >>
1 hour ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 2:10:58 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Leo Morton plans to retire at the end of the next... More >>
2 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 1:08:28 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Alexander Cartwright, a provost at State University of New York, will be named the next chancellor at Mizzou,... More >>
2 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 12:44:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri House members are set to begin considering legislation as part of a special session called... More >>
3 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 11:41:31 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The University of Missouri System is set to hire the provost and executive vice chancellor at the... More >>
3 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 11:41:00 AM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A former suburban St. Louis high school principal already accused of having a sexual relationship with a... More >>
5 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:49:55 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Residents around Rogersville are being warned to keep their eyes out for a 20-foot Burmese python that's... More >>
7 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 8:24:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A court ruling requires Missouri to at least temporarily remove GPS monitoring devices from some sex... More >>
7 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 8:07:03 AM CDT in News
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — A senior Palestinian official says he expects President Donald Trump's visit to the Holy Land... More >>
8 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 7:00:01 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 6-year-old St. Louis boy's plea for an end to violence has been viewed by tens... More >>
9 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 5:42:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Central Missouri Honor Flight completed its second flight of the year to honor 75 war veterans on Monday.... More >>
13 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 1:53:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Jay Ashcroft will make his first visit to the Columbia Chamber of Commerce since becoming the Missouri secretary... More >>
14 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 1:00:00 AM CDT in News
FULTON - Tornado sirens in Fulton sounded around 8:30 p.m. Monday night, but there was no severe weather in... More >>
18 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 9:16:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri State Legislators introduced three new versions of the “Steel Mill Bill” after returning from their one-week... More >>
19 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 7:58:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The newest addition to the St. Louis Zoo is a critically endangered black rhino. The... More >>
19 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 7:45:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri state Sen. Rob Schaaf is calling on Gov. Eric Greitens to expand the scope of... More >>
20 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 7:30:00 PM CDT in News
HALLSVILLE - Some Hallsville parents are questioning their children's safety in the school district after the suicide death of middle... More >>
21 hours ago May 22, 2017 May 22, 2017 Monday, May 22 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 6:06:00 PM CDT in Target 8
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 66°
4pm 65°
5pm 65°
6pm 64°
7pm 63°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
Cops Reloaded
4:30p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Great News
7:30p
Great News
8:00p
The Voice
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
iZombie
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld