Experts report about 10,000 young people qualify as homeless in the OKC metro.
As of right now, there isn't a safe place for them to sleep at night. That will soon change once a first-of-its kind shelter is able to open.
Penny Reynolds is a walking example of what young people can overcome in life, with a little help. She’s the founder of SISU Youth.
“I was working, trying to attend school and living out of my car,” she said.
After graduating high school, she said the bottom fell out and just like that she was homeless.
“At its core, it is a horribly traumatizing experience to be a young person without a full set of life skills and without a safe place to be at night, feeling invisible in the hallways of your classroom, feeling invisible when you’re staying at friends’ couches, feeling like a burden,” she explained.
These feelings, Reynolds said, plague the homeless youth population to this day; feelings she hopes to put to rest with her new overnight shelter called "The Dorm."
At the 10-bed shelter, young adults, approaching some of life's most defining moments, will get to have the basics; a bed, food, clean clothes, and access to all kinds of resources.
But most importantly the facility serves as a start at giving our future generation a safe place to land and the encouragement they need to excel.
“I experienced that belief, someone’s belief in me and it changed everything,” she told News 9.
There is already a waiting list for teens in need.
But in order to open, the shelter needs volunteers who will undergo special training.
Once it’s open, the shelter will operate from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Young adults ages 18, 19, and 20 can stay for up to 45 nights.\