My House in Wasilla has been helping give a “hand up” to homeless and troubled youth for almost three years. On Workforce Wednesday, the organization’s executive director, Michelle Overstreet shared a success story with Brandi Kinney.
Kinney was a teen mother and homeless youth, now she’s Overstreet’s administrative assistant. The two shared the couch with Martha Peck, who is with Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium, or APICC.
Without My House, Kinney says she wouldn’t have been able to afford a better life for her child, or even finish high school. Using the services, she went from homeless teen mother, to high school graduate, to employed college student.
“I think the most important thing is to find what inspires you to do better and to follow your dreams.” Kinney said of her time at My House.
My House helps some young people break down barriers with employment and build job skills. Some of the clients end up homeless because of an unstable home. My House works to get them stabilized with a job, but also offers shower facilities, clothing and treatment, to name a few. Overstreet said within a day, My House can have a teen employed and give them a place to stay, making the road to recovery much quicker.
While My House is a nonprofit, the organization owns Gather Grounds Cafe and Steamdriven Boutique, a thrift store for teens, which are for profit. By owning them, the organization can employ and help the community, as well as achieve the goals it wants for its clients. Most of the employed teens work there.
Watch the full video here.