Muskegon Non-Profit Helps Young Adults Step Up Into Independence

By Sarah Boucher January 31, 2021

Imagine being a young adult, and not knowing where to go in life or what to do. You lack a support system, don't have a job, are trying to complete high school. You want to be successful and independent, you believe you have potential, but it seems so far away to get to that point. Right in our own community, there are many young adults in this situation. Whether they are aging out of foster care, have a tenuous home situation, or come from a variety of other circumstances, they are trying to find their way and need some help and direction. 

Step Up is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created in 2015 when the founding members realized the need for support for youth in transition, and saw a way to fill that need. Step Up operates two homes in Muskegon County, one for men and one for women. The young adults living in these homes range from 18-24 years old. Residents live in community by sharing a common kitchen, dining, and living area while maintaining their privacy by having their own bedroom. This living arrangement promotes responsibility, community, cooperation and relationships among the residents.

A private bedroom in our men's house

During their time with Step Up, they learn life skills, leisure skills, finish their high school education, obtain employment skills and jobs, volunteer in the community, and much more. Through the support of the Step Up team and the community, the residents are given opportunities to learn needed skills, and even more importantly, create healthy relationships and form a positive support system, to live successfully on their own. 

Participating in a team building activity during a retreat at Camp Newaygo

Participating in a community trunk-or-treat event

Each individual in the program progresses through the steps toward successful independence at their own pace, and has an individualized set of goals and action steps they create with the guidance of our program coordinator. Following their time at Step Up, residents can stay connected with the team at Step Up, along with many community members who serve as volunteers and mentors. Past, present, and future residents of Step Up are never alone on their journey through life.

Women's personal safety class for taught by From No Defense to Self Defense

Developing hobbies and leisure time skills is an important aspect of the program

Do you know of someone who could benefit from the Step Up program? Applications are currently being accepted.

Interested in volunteering or mentoring? We couldn't serve the young adults in our program without the help and support of our many volunteers. Here's how you can get involved.

Could you support Step Up financially or through meeting the needs of our wish list? Learn about our current needs.