Youth group offers holiday cheer to homeless, struggling youth

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by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham

azfamily.com

Posted on December 25, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 31 at 11:16 AM

PHOENIX---  One-n-Ten, a center for all struggling youth, is keeping its doors open this Christmas, and helping dozens of young people with no other place to go celebrate.

"This is my second home. I don't know where I'd be without One-n-Ten," said Erin Mahoney.

Most youth at One-n-Ten are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), but the center welcomes everyone. The staff provides counseling, a "safe space" in general, plus showers, clothes, food and toiletries. On Christmas, they will also provide a spread of Christmas food and presents for each of the kids.

"The streets are no place for anyone, but a lot of the kids are homeless. [Without the Christmas event] many would be on a park bench for the cold night," staff member Joaquin Mota told 3TV.

Kelvin Smith Meyers became homeless at age 14, after coming out to his mother, and has come to the One-n-Ten center for years.

"She didn't accept it," he said.

"When it was raining last week, we were sleeping in a van," Darren Beach said.   

He stopped by the center's Third Street and Osborn Road location on Christmas Eve to relax and use the computers. He'll be back for the Christmas event Tuesday, and, along with all youth at the center, has gifts waiting for him under the tree.

More information about the organization can be found at OnenTen.org.

 

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