Who We Are: Star House is a 24/7 drop-in center for youth aged 14-24 who are experiencing homelessness. We provide youth experiencing homelessness with a safe respite from the streets and connect them with a chance to thrive. We are the only drop-in center for youth experiencing homelessness in Central Ohio, and the only one in the country that continuously hosts best-practices research. We are open 365 days per year.
What We Do: Star House provides youth experiencing homelessness with food, clothing, hygiene items, laundry facilities, showers, and a safe place to
be. Staff clinical therapists provide therapy and case management, and 30 partnering agencies provide on-site and community-based access to housing, transportation, health care, employment, education, legal aid, government benefits, ID cards and other stabilizing resources. We use a multi-step, evidence-based model to address the unique needs of one of our community’s most vulnerable populations. This proven model is built upon the principles of accepting youth for whom they are, providing as few barriers to entry as possible, and maintaining unconditional positive regard.
Why We're Important: Youth experiencing homelessness have too often been let down by the adults in their lives, and have little orientation for a loving, trusting relationship. As a result, many would rather fend for themselves on the streets than reach out for help. Research tells us that connection with a supportive community is a leading predictor of youth overcoming distrust and exiting homelessness. To provide successful interventions that target childhood trauma, substance use, and mental health problems, we first develop trust and linkages between homeless youth and service providers. Our patient, relational philosophy allows us to serve as a reliable launchpad to stability.
How We Impact the Community: In 2017, Star House served 996 unduplicated youth. According to our surveys of youth who have accessed services for a minimum of 3 months, 73.9% have been linked to resources, 73.9% have been housed, 70.8% have received medical care, 67.7% have received case management, 36.9% have engaged in therapy, 56.9% have obtained identification documents, and 98.5% have received resources to assist with transportation. Their average rating of overall life satisfaction of 4.98 before coming to Star House (on a 10 point scale) improves to a 7.74 after accessing services.
How You Can Help: You can support our existing operations by donating directly to Star House. You can also make us the beneficiary of workplace giving and other campaigns, such as AmazonSmile. We are always in need of item donations such as socks, underwear, diapers and hygiene items. We also have several different volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups, which reaffirm to our youth that their community cares for and values them. You can visit our website, starhousecolumbus.org and click on the heading to learn more about how to give or volunteer.
Connect with Star House
Executive Director: Ann Bischoff
Board Chair: Ginny Barney