Ruth Ellis Center

A safe place for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans* and Questioning young people ages 13-30 to simply be themselves and have a space to hang out with one another.

Health Equity and Outreach services capture the spirit of Ruth Ellis Center by celebrating LGBTQ+ young people and supporting their day-to-day needs.

Ruth Ellis Center designed its Health Equity & Outreach program so young LGBTQ+ people can easily and quickly find assistance and support.

Whether you need our Drop-in Center, Peer Support, Center for Lesbian and Queer Women and Girls (CLQ), or HIV prevention, our top priority is to ensure your personal choices and authentic self-expression are celebrated here in a safe and affirming environment.

Drop-In Center

The Drop-In Center fully captures the spirit of REC by celebrating LGBTQ+ young people aged 13 to 30 and supporting their day-to-day needs.

Young people can access:

  • Hot and non-perishable food
  • Clothing
  • Hygiene kits
  • Showers
  • Laundry services
  • Recreational activities
  • Community programming
  • Arts and leadership programming

Drop-In also connects you with the following:

  • Ruth Ellis Health & Wellness Centers
  • Community-based Family Support Services
  • Housing
  • GED completion
  • Job search support

Drop-in Days: Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:00-8:30 pm, full service
Resource Day: Thursdays, 11 am to 2:00 pm, food boxes/basic needs items
Closed: Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays

Center for Lesbian and Queer Women and Girls (CLQ)

The CLQ provides programs and activities that create healthy, intelligent, strong, and active girls and women. Our counselors and professionals offer drop-in advocacy, outreach, and case management to empower young women and girls between 13 and 30. Services include:

  • After-school tutoring, internships, preparing for college and vocational training support, and more.
  • Career exploration and workforce development
  • Life skills and leadership conduit
  • Family/parenting support and inter-generational mentoring
  • A clothing closet

Peer Support

Peer support is vital for LGBTQ+ young people. The Center provides a safe space to connect with others who have similar experiences. By sharing stories, empathizing, and encouraging, our young people gain the strength and confidence to embrace their authentic selves and advocate for equity and inclusion in all aspects of their lives.

HIV Prevention

With community partners, Ruth Ellis Center provides essential HIV prevention services, including education, STI screening, prevention and treatment, HIV screening, prevention and treatment, and safer sex supplies.

We are making strides for the community.

Our staff actively engages in advancing LGBTQ+ health and health equity through:


  • Our leaders spoke at three national LGBTQ+ health and health equity conferences.
  • Team members are on four national boards and committees focused on HIV, tobacco, and drug reduction.

Expanding Partnerships

  • We work with the University of Michigan to assess LGBTQ+ community needs and available resources to guide future programming initiatives.
  • We strengthened community partnerships to enhance access to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment.
  • More than two dozen LGBTQ+ community members collaborated with MDHHS to create three youth-centered digital media projects on HIV prevention and treatment.

Enhancing Programs

  • We reignited monthly sessions and expanded discussion/support groups to include all trans-identified men, women, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming individuals.
  • Developed additional programming for youth living with HIV/AIDS and assisted numerous young individuals in reducing or quitting tobacco.
  • We have reached over 150 individuals through expanded community events at drop-in spaces, including balls, back-to-school events, and health fairs.