All of this cold weather means homeless and vulnerable youth need warm winter clothing. Tumbleweed Executive Director Erika Willis said right now they need snow boots, hooded sweatshirts and especially, gloves.
Willis said they also need food for the pantry, especially grab and go food, like pop-top food. They also need pasta right now. And, they always need cash donations.
She said all of the donations help protect vulnerable youth in more ways than simply feeding and clothing them.
She said, "If a youth is experiencing conflict at home or being asked to leave home, told to leave home. The risk for them being engaged in something like trafficking is much higher because the vulnerabilities are greater. So, if we can help them figure out stable support systems, we can help figure out shelter. And, all the way to things like gloves, hats, how are you going to stay warm, access to food, those kinds of things. We know that we are reducing vulnerabilities by providing those kinds of services. Because youth are at risk of pretty tremendous trauma when they are on the streets. Even one night on the streets will create trauma that is pretty challenging for someone to work through."
Willis says they served around 700-800 youth last year in their five programs. She said community support literally keeps the doors open.
Tumbleweed is located at 505 N 24th Street, Billings.