Providing Hope and Support for Homeless Youth in Detroit

Courtney Smith is the founder and CEO of the Detroit Phoenix Center (DPC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support and resources to homeless and at-risk youth in the Detroit area. Smith, who herself experienced homelessness as a teenager, founded the DPC in 2017 with the goal of creating a safe and welcoming space for young people who are facing similar challenges.

The DPC operates out of a 4,500 square foot facility in downtown Detroit, which serves as a drop-in center for youth between the ages of 13 and 24. The center provides a variety of services and resources, including hot meals, clothing, hygiene supplies, and access to medical care and mental health services. In addition, the DPC offers educational and employment support, as well as recreational and cultural activities designed to help youth build positive relationships and develop life skills.

One of the unique aspects of the DPC is its focus on trauma-informed care. Many of the youth who come to the center have experienced significant trauma, such as abuse, neglect, or violence, and the DPC is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment that recognizes and responds to these experiences. The staff at the DPC receive extensive training in trauma-informed care, and the center incorporates trauma-responsive practices into all aspects of its programming.

Since its founding, the DPC has served over 3,000 youth, providing them with the support and resources they need to transition out of homelessness and build stable, successful lives. In addition to its direct services, the DPC also advocates for policy and system changes that will better support homeless and at-risk youth in the Detroit area.

Courtney Smith and the DPC have received numerous awards and recognitions for their work, including the 2019 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award and the 2020 Crain’s Detroit Business Nonprofit of the Year Award. Smith has also been named one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ 40 under 40 honorees.

The work of Courtney Smith and the Detroit Phoenix Center is incredibly important, particularly in a city like Detroit where the issue of youth homelessness is particularly acute. By providing a safe and supportive space for young people in need, the DPC is helping to build a stronger and more resilient community for all

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