Washtenaw United: Demand For Shelter And Services At All-Time High At Ozone House

Dec 21, 2020

Ozone House executive director Krista Girty
Credit Ozone House / ozonehouse.org

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed more young people into the streets.  Ozone House's new facility in Ypsilanti is full up with a waiting list that is the longest in the organization's history.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks with Ozone House executive director Krista Girty about helping those in need despite the changes the COVID crisis has created. 


WEMU has partnered with the United Way of Washtenaw County to explore the people, organizations, and institutions creating opportunity and equity in our area.  And, as part of this ongoing series, you’ll also hear from the people benefiting and growing from the investments being made in the areas of our community where there are gaps in available services.  It is a community voice.  It is 'Washtenaw United.'



Krista Girty is a Social Worker by training who has worked for over 24 years as an advocate for youth.  She has worked her entire career at community based nonprofit agencies that work toward positive youth development and safety.  Krista moved back from the California Bay Area 3 years ago to be the Executive Director of Ozone House where she worked at the start of her career.  Krista brings a national perspective having worked across the county at best practice agencies to include JASMYN in Jacksonville Florida, Larkin Street Youth Services and Huckleberry Youth Programs in San Francisco and most recently she served as Senior Vice President at Covenant House California.


Ozone House

Ozone House's Impact


UWWC has a been a long standing supporter and funder of Ozone House’s mission and programs.

Recent Investment/Partnership History includes:

  • FY16-18: COFU $253,653 ($14,798 from UWWC, $238,855 from other CoFu partners)
  • FY17: Financial Stability Fund, $25,000 for WorkZone Program
  • FY18: Financial Stability Fund, $15,000 for Financial Coaching for Youth
  • FY19-21: COFU $253,653 ($40,000 from UWWC, $213,653 from other COFU partners)

Most recently, UWWC invested $15,000 in Ozone House through our COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to cover additional staffing costs incurred while providing more care and coverage to youth in their Transitional Living Program.  First, in their TLP shelter, normal services offered include one staff member on each shift throughout the day and night; for four hours per day, the shelter is not staffed since youth are expected to leave for work, volunteering, or school.  However, pursuant to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order during the COVID-19 crisis, youth do not exit the shelter unless they are employed as a documented essential worker or need medical attention.  Combining the 24 hour physical presence of young people in the shelter and overall interpersonal stress related to the virus, Ozone House decided to enhance and support staffing for TLP.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu