GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A local program, which helps homeless or troubled youth, is building a new housing facility off of 12th Street and one of the workers on that project happens to have a personal connection with the program.
Stephen Scheer spent a good portion of his formative years at The House.
“When I first started with them I was just like a juvenile delinquent, you know,” said Scheer.
Scheer is a plumbing apprentice and a former client of the program.
“I moved out when I was 15 because of my living situation and started with The House and was off and on with them until I was 18,” said Scheer.
The program helps troubled youth with whatever needs they have.
“Get that supervision that they need to become productive members of society, instead of just ending up in jail or you know something like that,” said Scheer.
“The house exists to try to get homeless youth off the street and into permanent stable housing,” said longtime House employee Sarah Fuller, “So we encourage youth to set their own goals and then have case managers and youth advocates who help them work on their goals.”
Fuller said the program offers assistance with anything from personal hygiene to cooking, and they even help with budgeting and taxes.
“Definitely I still use all those skills they taught me,” said Scheer, “They helped me figure out how to get jobs, and how to like pay rent and, you know, pay utilities and stuff like that.”
The project he’s working on now is the newest facility for the program.
“I was very excited to be a part of building this,” said Scheer, “I wouldn’t have been here without The House you know.”
‘I am grateful for what we’re able to offer them,” said Fuller, “It’s really amazing to see that and encouraging and hopeful to see when their stories turn out in ways that seem to make them happy.”
According to Fuller, statistically speaking, youth in the program typically see significant improvements in anxiety and depression.
“The return on investment is in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in diverting homeless youth from other institutions other programs,” said Fuller.
For Scheer though, confidence is one of the most important things he gained from the program.
“The biggest thing I think is confidence, you know, they start saying to you, ‘ok you’ve had a traumatic past or something, you know, it doesn’t have to be like that you know,” said Scheer, “It just showed me there’s all these healthy things I can do with my life, instead of all these unhealthy things that I have been doing.”
Both Scheer and Fuller said The House is really like one big family.
If you’re interested in learning more about The House, click here.