Rainbow House to Build New Shelter for Teens

9 years 2 weeks 5 days ago Friday, September 24 2010 Sep 24, 2010 Friday, September 24, 2010 8:36:14 AM CDT September 24, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - The Rainbow House is receiving a federal grant of $139,000 a year for the next three years.  It plans to rent a four to five bedroom house with two-and-a-half baths that's near bus lines, ADA compliant and centrally located.  The shelter will take 16 to 18 year old's.  They will be able to access the shelter 24 hours a day.

"Once we obtain the facility and staff and all the operations they can call 24 hours a day.  If they're homeless or living in an unsafe, unstable situation they can just give us a call and we can get them in as long as we have a bed open," Heather Windham of the Rainbow House said.

There are homeless teens attending all three public high schools in Columbia.  Rock Bridge High School counselor Betsy Jones says there's several reasons why teens are homeless.

"They've either been in conflict with their parents or they're not willing to live by their parents' rules, or sometimes it's strictly economic and some parents will say 'you're 16, you need to go out there and support yourself',"  Jones said.

Both Jones and Windham agree that the new shelter will improve homeless teens performance in the classroom.

The shelter is scheduled to open sometime in December.

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