Detroit Phoenix Center gives back to the community this month

November is National Runaway Prevention Month. Phoenix Center founder and executive director Courtney Smith joins CultureShift to discuss how people can get involved.

Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith is the founder and executive director of the Detroit Phoenix Center.

November is National Runaway Prevention Month, and one local organization is hosting a series of events to help raise awareness in their community.

The Detroit Phoenix Center is a nonprofit organization that helps currently homeless and underserved young people in Detroit. 

On Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m., they’re hosting their 5th Annual Friendsgiving Open House & Dinner. There will be free non-perishable food boxes distributed by Forgotten Harvest, winter gear giveaways, games and music by DJ Lixxer. A traditional holiday meal prepared by Chef Dominique will be served.

Then, on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 30, the Phoenix Center will broadcast stories of resilience from the youth it serves, plus members of its Youth Action Board and subject matter experts beginning at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live. Keynote speakers will include US Representative Brenda Lawrence and Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Prosperity Equity and Inclusion Officer Kim Trent.

Courtney Smith is the founder and executive director of the Phoenix Center. She says no matter what’s going on in the world, young people shouldn’t be left behind.

“If we can’t agree on anything else, every young person [should] have access to the support that they need to thrive, especially food, shelter, clothing and a community that cares about them. So please, if that’s all, just do something.”

The organization recently partnered with an Atlanta-based company, Moolah Wireless, to bring internet access and equipment to people who need it most. At their Friendsgiving event, the Phoenix Center will provide families in need with tablets and a free year of internet access. To see if you qualify, visit this link and enter code “GH66BD.”

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  • Tia Graham
    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.