WHO WE ARE
As someone who has experienced housing insecurity in Detroit firsthand (in addition to watching friends and family members struggle with similar experiences) our Founder and CEO, Ms. Courtney, set out to explore the programs and best practices being implemented in other communities across the country in search of solutions. In doing so, she wanted to bring new ways of problem-solving back to her hometown to ensure youth transitioning out of homelessness and poverty greater access to the vital resources they need.
This desire led Ms. Courtney to embark on a transcontinental journey on-board the Millennial Trains Project (MTP) in 2016. This program acted as a social incubator for aspiring change-makers who were not only crazy enough to believe that they could change the world - but actually set out to do it.
While aboard the train, Ms. Courtney conducted focus groups with youth and spoke with thought-leaders around the youth homelessness space in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Milwaukee, Denver, and Detroit.
Many of the young people that Ms. Courtney came across felt like their voices were being suppressed and that the best ways to serve youth experiencing homelessness were not being implemented in their communities. This led Ms. Courtney to work toward finding ways to amplify the voices and lived experiences of youth experiencing homelessness in Detroit and adopt a service model that had never been used before.
All of this effort materialized itself into the form of Detroit Phoenix Center, which opened in 2017 as the first completely volunteer-driven Asset Based Resource Center providing drop-in services and basic need support to teens and young adults in need.
Impact numbers are based on the July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021 fiscal year
Children and youth served through COVID-19 outreach and DPC Programs
COVID-19 care packages
of essential goods and services distributed to youth and families
Hours of virtual programming (mental health support, tutoring, financial literacy, and more)
Gallons of hand sanitizer distributed
Days of emergency shelter provided via hotel vouchers covering 17 households
Courtney Smith - Founder & CEO
Sade Beck - Director of Youth & Family Services
Eden Gibbs - Communication & Special Events Manager
Mary Inman - Program Coordinator, Public Allies of Metro Detroit
DeAndra Matthews - DPC Alumni & Peer Support Coordinator, Public Allies of Metro Detroit
Tarra Hicks - DPC Alumni & Program Assistant
Jessica Skyfield - Executive Assistant
YOUTH ACTION BOARD
The mission of the Trailblazers Youth Action Board is to strive for the elimination of youth homelessness and poverty in our region. The YAB is an interagency group of young leaders with lived experiences to inform the public about issues, identify and work to eliminate barriers to housing, employment, education, mental health, and advocate for increased resources to transition youth. Youth leaders commit to an annual retreat, attend monthly meetings, and design a year-long service-learning project that drives community change.
Youth Action Board Current Members:
Program Partners and Facilitators include:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mary Jo Franklin
Detroit Public Library
& Children's Librarian
John C. Muhs
Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
Aimee Spencer Tiemann
Creator & Owner
Member at Large
Product Manager (Strategy, Diversity & Innovation)
Henry Ford Health System
& Financial Literacy Advocate
We are beyond grateful for the help of our Partners and could not do this heart work without them. If you or your organization is interested in becoming a Funding Partner, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Community Partners contribute to programming and other experiences that we offer to our youth members. If you are interested in becoming a Community Partner, please contact email@example.com