Nina's Place awarded $80,000 grant from Ruth Mott Foundation - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Nina's Place awarded $80,000 grant from Ruth Mott Foundation

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(11/12/12) - A unique program, for young women in Flint, has been awarded a grant which helps keep it open at least one more year.

Funding for Nina's Place, part of the YWCA, was set to run out in February.

It's a transitional living center for young women who have aged out of foster care and are without family support.

"It's home," says Ashley Byas.  She says she may not have one if not for Nina's Place.

Byas, 20, has been living there for six months. She says a friend, who is also a resident, told her about the program.

"This seemed like a great opportunity to help me get on my own feet," she says.

That is exactly the idea behind the program.

Eleven young women can live there at once. Single rooms, filling up a floor at the YWCA, have pretty much been booked since it opened almost two years ago. 

A more than $80,000 grant, from the Ruth Mott Foundation, guarantees it will stay open at least one more year, says the YWCA's Chief Program Officer Harmony Langford.

"We're in conversations with several of the other local funders and have had positive reaction from them. We feel pretty certain we'll be open for awhile," Langford says. "We've had 32 girls go through the program. That includes 10 with us right now." 

Langford says the program has been successful with more of the young women now attending college or holding down jobs and volunteering.

"We have not had any of our girls involved with the juvenile justice system which is huge," Langford says.

Byas has big plans. 

"I'm a freshmen in college and I'm seeking employment at the time. Volunteering," Byas says.  Her ultimate goal is a career in physical therapy and having her own place after getting a little help at Nina's Place.

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