Community comes together to help homeless youth

The student ministry from St. Stephen United Methodist Church in Troy brave the frigid temperatures this past winter to help the Lincoln County Resource Board advance construction efforts. LCRB Executive Director Cheri Winchester said the picture demonstrates one of the “beautiful aspects of the Key’s mission – the community coming together, in this case youth pulling together to support other youth in their community, to ensure every young person in Lincoln County has a safe, loving place to call home.” Photo courtesy of LCRB

As the Key Youth Center continues finishing indoor construction, the people behind it have begun plans to hold an open house once construction is complete.

“We’re looking at approximately a month, maybe more, maybe less, to get everything finalized and finished.,” said Shiloh Werkmeister, president of the Key Youth Center. 

Werkmeister said that construction had taken longer than expected because all the materials were donated and the labor volunteered. Currently, volunteers are working on finishing the flooring, and once that’s completed the interior trim and painting can get done. The security system also has a few final tweaks necessary before being operational.

“Security is really important to us, because we want the youth who come to live here to feel safe and secure,” Werkmeister said.

At the start of summer, the hope was to have the Key Youth Center open before school began in August, however Werkmeister said that opening later than originally planned was “not harmful to the process”, as it would give school counselors time to identify kids who would benefit from the Key.  The purpose of the Key is to provide homeless youth in Lincoln County a safe place to live as they finish high school, as some youth can excel in a more independent lifestyle than trying to fit in with a foster family. 

Werkmeister shared that once the facility is complete the board plans to hold an open house so the community can see the end result of all their donations and support. There is not an official date set for the open house. For more information about the Key Youth Center and how to help homeless youth in Lincoln County, visit their Facebook page “The Key.”

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