Founded in 1999, Ruth Ellis Center (REC) has established a national reputation for quality and innovation in providing trauma-informed services for lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth, and young adults, with an emphasis on young people of color, experiencing homelessness, involved in the child welfare system, and/or experiencing barriers to health and wellbeing.
It is our mission, to create opportunities with LGBTQ+ young people to build their vision for a positive future.
Our vision is a world where LGBTQ+ young people are safe and supported no matter where they go.Support Our Mission
VOICES of Ruth Ellis Center was created out of a desire to stay connected to our local, national, and global community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through candid interviews with REC staff, youth, community partners, funders, and thought leaders from around the country, VOICES of
Ruth Ellis Center provides a platform to explore topics in a new way.
Listen to VOICES of Ruth Ellis Center on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Breaker, Overcast, RadioPublic, or Pocket Casts.Listen Now
As we’ve continued to grow and evolve, so have the ways we help our young people. At Ruth Ellis Center, we work toward our vision through a growing number of services and programs, that support the LGBTQ+ youth and young adult community.
From providing outreach and safety-net services, to skill-building workshops and HIV prevention programs, we are known for our unique approach.
For more information regarding our five core programs, see below or feel free to contact us directly.Reach Out
Provided in partnership with Henry Ford Health System
REC is contracted through Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network to provide behavioral health services.
This program is made possible in part by:
The Drop-in Center is a safe place for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans* and Questioning Young People ages 13-30 to simply be themselves and have a space to hang out with one another
Here Youth Have Access To:
REC will also help youth get connected to:
*Individual Case Management Services will be scheduled Monday-Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM (based on youth availability)
Ruth’s House, REC’s Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) is a licensed and contracted 9-bed residential care facility specifically for self-identifying LGBTQ youth between the ages 12-17 who are under guardianship of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ child abuse/neglect or juvenile justice divisions. The facility offers an open, home-like, community-based setting with programming and services that are heavily focused on developing the practical coping skills that will ensure successful living as a LGBTQ adult.
We receive referrals from:
For more information, please contact:
Made possible in part by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The Center for Lesbian and Queer Women and Girls (CLQ) takes the needs and desires of every young Lesbian/Queer person seriously so that we can provide programs and activities that create healthy, smart, strong and active girls and women!
The CLQ provides advocacy/outreach and case management services through an equity lens to empower girls and young women between 13-30 years old.
The types of services provided focus on the following 5 areas to support the health and well-being of Lesbian and Queer Women and Girls:
Creating a world where LGBTQ youth can be safe and supported in all systems of care
The Ruth Ellis Institute centers the experiences of LGBTQ youth to inform and change nation-wide systems of care through education and evaluation.
We do this by:
Are you interested in a training opportunity for your organization or group? To help us understand your specific needs, please complete a Training Request Form.
For more information on the work of the Ruth Ellis Institute, please contact:
The Ruth Ellis Center will be temporarily pausing the intake of in-kind donations (clothing, non-perishable food, and hygiene products, etc.), volunteer projects, and in-person meetings until further notice.
Young people with existing appointments or medication pick-ups at the Health & Wellness Center should contact us at (313)-365-3338 to confirm. Access to medication will not be interrupted.
Our Principles of Work shape everything we do. They are the driving force behind our programs and what makes Ruth Ellis Center successful and meaningful for our youth, but also inform how we “show up” for our staff and community alike.
Built on the concept of racial and gender equity, they create a strategic and imperative base that informs our work (full racial equity statement linked below).
For a deeper dive into our four principles, see below.Racial Equity Statement
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) concept of a trauma-informed approach, “A program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed: Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery; Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system; Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.”
A trauma-informed approach can be implemented in any type of service setting or organization and is distinct from trauma-specific interventions or treatments that are designed specifically to address the consequences of trauma and to facilitate healing.
“Transformative Justice responds to the lack of- and the critical need for- a liberatory approach to violence. A liberatory approach seeks safety and accountability without relying on alienation, punishment, or State or systemic violence, including incarceration and policing”Resist: https://www.resist.org
Restorative Justice, under the umbrella of Transformative Justice, is the primary tool used to implement this principle.
Harm Reduction refers to policies and practices that aim primarily to reduce adverse health, social, and economic consequences of high risk behaviors and benefits people engaging in high-risk behaviors as well as their families and communities.
RHYTTAC, Presenter, Cassidy, TC “Harm Reduction, Positive Youth Development, and Trauma Informed Care: What are they and How do they Operationalize in Youth Serving Programs” January, 2013. PowerPoint.
Positive Youth Development (PYD) is a comprehensive framework outlining the supports young people need in order to be successful. PYD emphasizes the importance of focusing on youths’ strengths instead of their risk factors to ensure that all youth grow up to become contributing adults.
Research shows that only four out of ten young people are doing well, and survey results from the Gallup Student Poll suggest that a majority of youth in the U.S. are not hopeful, engaged and thriving. Most often policymakers focus on the negative behaviors or risk factors that youth face and emphasize reducing statistics such as teen pregnancy or dropout rates.
Positive youth development focuses on building the positive attributes young people need in order to be successful. It emphasizes the supports and services necessary to help youth transition through various stages of their development. States and policymakers are beginning to use this framework to develop policies and programs that will ensure that all youth are ready for college, work and life.
National Conference of State Legislatureshttp://www.ncsl.org