"Life House taught me self-respect."


"Thanks for serving us this food"..LHYC Student

Real stories from Life House kids. Names have been changed to protect their identity.


Jessica is a 10-year old girl who comes from a terrible situation where she struggles because she doesn’t know her father very well. She doesn’t come from a broken home where her father moved far away. Instead, her father is constantly in a psych ward because he is attempting to commit suicide. He has currently been admitted seven times in the past twelve months. Her mom as well is absent, working most of the time and Jessica is left at home alone. She has found comfort in the fact that she can come into the youth center daily and feel important and valued by serving in our kitchen to help prepare lunches for our free sack lunch program as well as helping prepare dinner. She gets to go free “shopping” in our clothing closet and receives clothes that her parents can’t currently buy her. Before finding LHYC, she hadn’t had much purpose or joy in life, but now she has a purpose and a place to belong and feel important.


Matt is a 12-year old boy whose mother has been in prison for the past several years, and he doesn’t know his dad. For the past several years, Matt has lived with his stepfather, who is currently dating another woman while Matt’s mother is in prison. His stepfather, his 5-year-old brother, and Matt lived in the Super 8 Motel for a while. The stepfather would leave sometimes for days on end (longest being 6 days) while the the boys remained  in the motel to fend for themselves. Matt came to us hungry, dirty, and without any reason to find joy, hope, or love in his life. Since then, the Life House Youth Center has provided him with new clothes, new shoes, toiletries, as well as temporary housing when his stepfather left him at the Super 8 Motel for 6 days. We have had to report this situation to DFS as well as the school he attends due to academic neglect. Since the student has been attending the youth center we have also been able to send excess food back with him every Friday night so he can help feed his younger brother.


Jack is a 14 year old boy that has a Mom on meth and a Dad in prison. This boy was living with his 20 year old brother and his girlfriend until they got kicked out of their apartment and he became homeless. He has been in some trouble recently due to lack of supervision and no direction from an adult.  LHYC staff assisted Jack in finding a stable home to live and continues to provide support to Jack and his new family. Just recently one of this boy’s closest friends told me that he was mad at him because he is no longer “dirty Jack” when I asked what he meant he said he is “clean Jack” now and that is boring. He doesn’t smoke weed or drink alcohol and he told this boy that he no longer recognized him, but the boy said in response– I am Jack Smith!

In a survey completed by LHYC students in JANUARY 2021, 53% of students said that they have a parent struggling with an addiction to alcohol or some other drug(s). 

Here are a few goals LHYC students have set for the 2020/2021 year...

"to be safe all the time."

"to get back to regular school before the school year ends and get out of alternative school"

"to be a great role model" 

"to get a scholarship playing basketball

"learn how to read and be respectful"

Below are for your personal reading to give additional information on the culture and need of youth and citizens within our own community. As well as a list of the 40 Developmental Assets which we have adopted to aid in our endeavors at the LHYC.

The list of the psychological assets that a young person needs to have and that we strive for at the LHYC in order to become a successful adult.

 Sullivan Mo Drug Stats 

Statistical data of Sullivan, MO and our young people. It sheds a light on some for the situations in our community. 

A report on how poverty is affecting the lives of young people today. Poverty is the leading cause for many health factors in America.

For more photos and information check us out on Facebook or come by and see us!

©2021 by Life House Youth Center.