Youth resource center under construction as youth homelessness grows

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 6:10 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - There are troubles and hardships we all experience in our school years, however there’s a growing amount of youth that are facing extreme hardship, affecting their education and their lives.

“We’ve had some kiddos say to us, when we’ve been able to give them portable beds, it’s the first bed they’ve had, because they’re used to sleeping on the floor or a couch,” said Jan Anderson, the Homeless Liaison for Fargo Public Schools.

Fortunately, there’s a work in progress location for Fraser’s new Stepping Stone Resource Center that’s looking to fight that problem, that has a huge need and not enough help.

“The center alone has about 600 touch points in a month,” said Sandra Leyland, CEO of Fraser, regarding their other location. “That’s a lot of kids coming in and out of one location looking for help.”

“We are at 211 students identified so far. We’re at least 50 or 60 kids more than last year at this time,” said Anderson.

And those within the educational system see these same struggles, and work to help those within their school system. They also appreciate those who are able to help outside of it.

“We do a lot, we love to do a lot for our students and their families,” said David Burkman, Principal for Dakota High School. “Those other needs that maybe extend beyond the school days as well. So, we do look forward to them reaching completion.”

Whether it’s in a schoolyard or construction site, there’s growing help for a growing problem, looking to transform someone’s life for the better.

“Picture yourself not having anyone who gives you compassion,” said Leyland. “Picture yourself being alone. That’s what most of the kids that we work with are facing when they come through our center.”

“It feels good to be apart of a team that is making difference in the Fargo-Moorhead area. And I do genuinely believe that,” said Burkman.

The construction for the new Stepping Stone location will be completed as they reach their funding goal, which they hope to complete by this next fall. If you’d like to donate towards that goal, click here.