Shelter for homeless youth in Juneau reaches 1 year mark

    (Photo courtesy of CBJ)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Juneau's Shéiyi X̱aat Hít, or Spruce Root House, has reached its one-year milestone.

    The Zach Gordon Youth Center, Juneau Parks and Recreation, and Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority partnered to open the facility to serve as an emergency shelter for runaway and homeless youth in the community.

    Jorden Nigro, Manager of Zach Gordon Youth Services, spoke on capital chat about the shelter.

    "Some of the kids that we see have run from home, and our role is to work with them and their family or their caretakers wherever they might be living, to meet do some mediation and help them to communicate a bit better and have them go back home," she said. "Sometimes they come in because they really have no place to be and then we might be working, you know, with Office of Children's Services or tribal family services to help figure out a different housing situation. So they come in for lots of different reasons."

    In providing the shelter to the community, Nigro said many youth refer eachother to the shelter.

    "Adding this service for the community has allowed us to kind of provide the whole continuum of care for Kids who are homeless or runaway, and that has been real good so far, one of our largest referral sources has been other youth, so certainly some youth do not know about it yet," she said. "We're always trying to get the word out, but we feel pretty good that kids are bringing other kids to the shelter when they know they need it."

    A video about the shelter was posted in 2021 on the CBJ Youtube page:

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