At the Huck House Crisis Shelter, our doors are always open. If you’re dealing with fighting, abuse, violence, or any other situation that makes it difficult or unsafe for you to stay at home, our Crisis Shelter provides a safe alternative to the streets.
What you’ll find at our Crisis Shelter:
- Hot meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- A warm bed
- Access to clothing, hygiene items, and other necessities
- Group activities
- Space to think things over
- Counseling and support for resolving family issues
We will let your family know you’re here.
When you come to Huck House, you’ll need to contact a parent or guardian within 24 hours of getting here. While each situation is unique, you typically need a parent or guardian’s permission to stay. Our staff is really good at convincing guardians to allow young people to stay here. We explain how helpful we can be for you and your family. No matter your situation, we encourage you to come in and talk to us, and we will do our best to get you permission to stay.
Yes, counseling is part of the package.
When you stay at the Crisis Shelter, you—and your family, whenever possible—will participate in counseling for 30 minutes to an hour each day. Our counselors really want to help figure out a solution to your unique situation. And we believe that the best work is done when the whole family is involved. Our counselors will try to involve your family as much as they are willing and able to participate.
“Nobody judged me. They just offered me a safe place to stay. When you come from such an abusive situation and you come across adults who actually care, it makes you feel like there is a solution to your problem.”
Your stay here is temporary.
Most teens stay with us for about three to five days. However, we do partner with Franklin County Children Services to provide longer term Family Support respite care and Emergency Shelter Care as needed.
Yes, you can bring your cell phone.
You are allowed to have your cell phone or other devices at Huck House, although you might not have a connection to WiFi. We just ask that you do not take pictures of other youth while you are here. We also encourage you to keep your cell phone in our office where it can be kept safe.
We offer separate dorms and bathrooms for boys and girls.
You won’t have your own room while at Huck House. We have shared dorms and shared bathrooms, one for the boys and one for the girls, and they are monitored around-the-clock by our staff. Sometimes we can find a way for you to sleep separate from other youth, if circumstances allow. We also have a single bathroom you can use if you don’t feel comfortable using a shared bathroom space.
Need help getting to Huck House?
Huck House partners with White Castle Restaurants, Columbus Fire Stations, and Columbus Metropolitan Library locations throughout the Columbus area that can help arrange to get you here safely. To find a Safe Place site, send a text to 4HELP (44357) with the word SAFE and your current location. Learn more about our Safe Place Program.
You can go to school and work while you’re staying with us.
With your guardian’s permission, you can attend school and go to work while you’re staying at Huck House. Sometimes we ask you to stay back from school on your first full day at Huck House so a counselor can meet with you, but we will give you a school excuse. Typically, you will attend school or work using a COTA pass, as long as your guardian gives permission. We will print you out a COTA route and walk you through the steps of using COTA, if you have never used it before. Your guardian can also make transportation arrangements for you, such as with a family member or family friend.
No, we’re not like a detention center.
The Huck House Crisis Shelter is not a detention center, a jail, or a scared straight program. We are a safe place to stay, and we actually have a lot of fun. We watch movies and we play board, card, and video games. We do some arts and crafts, we go on walks to the park, we visit pet stores, and we go to the movies sometimes. We try to make sure that we get you out of the house at least once a day. You can also attend most extracurricular activities and go on outings with family members or family friends, as long as your guardian agrees. However, our staff might put some limits on how many outings or how long you can be gone.
It’s important to remember that the Crisis Shelter is a voluntary program. That means that you agree to stay here and work with us. We will never keep you here against your will.