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Waypoint Plans New Drop-In Youth Center In Rochester

The building Waypoint acquired in Rochester will be used as a drop-in center for young people experiencing housing instability.

The nonprofit organization Waypoint recently announced its plans to transform a building in Rochester into a drop-in center for youth experiencing housing instability. Waypoint focuses on everything from adoption to mental health counseling and currently serves around 130 young people in the Rochester, Dover and Somersworth area.

“The drop-in center gives an opportunity for young people able to drop in at any time and know that there are safe, supportive adults there that they can connect with for things like case management, to help get connected to other resources in the community and that they can get their basic needs met there,” Erin Kelly, program director for Homeless Youth and Young Adult Services said.

Among other services, the center will provide grab-and-go meals, phone charging stations, lockers, a food pantry, showers and peer and therapeutic groups. Kelly said the center is scheduled to open in 2022.

“It really is an opportunity to take young people out of that survival mode of ‘Where's my next meal coming from? How am I going to take a shower?’ to getting their basic needs met so that they can then start working on some goals,” Kelly said.

Julia Furukawa is the host of All Things Considered at NHPR. She joined the NHPR team in 2021 as a fellow producing ATC after working as a reporter and editor for The Paris News in Texas and a freelancer for KNKX Public Radio in Seattle.

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