HQ: Grand Rapids’ Youth Drop-In Center
HQ is a drop-in center for youth ages 14-24 in housing crisis — youth who don’t have a safe place to call home, are couch surfing, sleeping outside, or just need a safe place to connect with caring adults.
A drop-in center is a free resource to youth in crisis. At HQ, they may use our space and resources in two-hour blocks at a time or by personal appointment.
While they’re at HQ, youth have access to all of HQ’s resources at their discretion, including laundry, warm meals, and showers. We believe these basic needs resources are fundamental to living a realized life and should be free.
HQ is only possible because of support from people in our community who believe every youth should have a shot at a safe, happy, and healthy life. We rely on volunteers, donors, and community partners to share their skills, passions, and resources to break the cycle of homelessness together. If you’re interested in joining us, you can learn more here.
HQ began as a collaborative effort in Grand Rapids, Michigan when our community identified a need for a supportive, inclusive, and age-appropriate resource for runaway and homeless youth.
As we learned more about the issue of youth homelessness in West Michigan, we researched care models that prioritized restorative justice and youth-led healing to break the cycle of homelessness. The drop-in center model included these important strategies, so we began to design an organization that would be a safe place where youth could experience belonging, rest, and connect to other community resources and services.
With the support of the community, and generous seed funding from Mars Hill Bible Church, HQ purchased and renovated a building in downtown Grand Rapids. Located at 320 State St. in downtown Grand Rapids, this building is on a bus line and easily accessible to youth all over the city. We designed the space to be safe, welcoming, and inclusive for youth in crisis. It includes locked single-stall showers, free laundry, a kitchen, library, computer lab, and other resources. Most importantly, HQ is a place where youth build trusting relationships.
In December 2014, we opened our doors to youth in crisis.
HQ collaborates with community partners to make critical resources available to youth during drop-in. Counseling, case management professionals, medical services, and employment connections are all made possible through the community coming together to break the cycle of homelessness with youth in our community.
Homelessness is not just one cycle – it is the convergence of many. Poverty, unemployment, generational abuse, lack of educational support – these cycles drive youth into unsafe housing and even to the street.
HQ will provide an environment that is welcoming and safe to all members of the community (youth, volunteers, staff and community partners). We embrace differences in race, color, nationality, religion/culture, gender identity/expression, immigration status, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, military status, and ability. Comments or behaviors that are humiliating, isolating or otherwise create an unsafe environment for others will not be tolerated.
HQ will promote inclusion and celebrate diversity through every aspect of service delivery, materials, activities and environment. The HQ Team will embrace youth as they are and support them in becoming who they want to be.