The Way Station, Birmingham’s 1st shelter for homeless youth is underway—details here

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The Way Station
The Birmingham community at the groundbreaking of the Way Station. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

The Way Station has officially broken ground in Birmingham. Read on to learn all the details about this important project and the nonprofit behind it—AIDS Alabama

Important Stats

Like many cities, the Birmingham Metro Area reports hundreds of “Unaccompanied Youth” under the age of 24 living on the streets. 

What’s an “Unaccompanied Youth”? Any youth under the age of 24 not traveling with anyone over the age of 24. 

According to AIDS Alabama, in 2020, there were 175 Unaccompanied Youth counted during the Point In Time Count, a 24-hour census of the homeless population in the Birmingham Metro Area.

Of those 175, there were a reported 72 that were unsheltered, or living in a place not fit for human habitation (i.e., a car, tent, building without functioning utilities, or outside).

About the Way Station

The Way Station groundbreaking took place on October 20, 2021. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Due to the growing number of “Unaccompanied Youth” in Birmingham, AIDS Alabama, decided to step in. They created the Way Station—a place designed to serve the unique needs of homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. 

The official groundbreaking was held on October 20 at their soon-to-be location: the corner of 3rd Avenue and 7th Street North in Birmingham. 

Since late 2017, AIDS Alabama has been working to raise $4M to establish the Way Station. On October 20, a major milestone was achieved when they officially broke ground. 

“We are so excited. Currently, there is no shelter like this designed especially for the unique needs of at-risk youth.” — Caroline Bundy, Director of Development, AIDS Alabama

Want to support the Way Station in its ongoing campaign? Donate now

Programs + Services

The Way Station
The Way Station will be Birmingham’s only shelter for homeless youth. Rendering via AIDS Alabama

The Way Station will include a number of beneficial programs. Here’s a look:

Basic Shelter

Provides: temporary housing (20 beds available) with crisis intervention services to young people, including:

  • Immediate Safety
  • Trauma-Informed Care Counseling
  • Healthcare
  • Care Plan

Transitional Housing

Provides: longer-term housing for up to two years (20 beds available) with supportive services, including: 

  • Enrollment into Birmingham City Schools or GED Prep/Education
  • Financial Empowerment Courses
  • Job + Housing-Readiness Skills
  • Internships and assistance with securing employment
  • Clothing Closet
  • Healthcare

AIDS Alabama Rapid Re-housing

Provides: assistance to those when ready by securing permanent housing. 

“The young people we will serve have had a pretty tough start to their young lives. Our aim is to heal trauma and give them the love and the skills they need to lead rewarding lives. How we end—in a world where all people thrive—depends on how we begin, and we want to give these young people a new beginning.”

Caroline Bundy, Director of Development, AIDS Alabama

Who is AIDS Alabama?

The Way Station
Caroline Bundy of AIDS Alabama at the groundbreaking of the Way Station in Birmingham. The Way Station Groundbreaking. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now
  • Their mission is to help people with HIV/AIDS live healthy, independent lives and work to prevent the spread of HIV.
  • They provide housing assistance, case management, transportation, support groups, mental health, substance abuse services and peer support for those living with HIV or at risk for getting HIV. 
  • They provide advocacy training so Alabamians living with HIV and the people that love them can better understand how legislation directly affects their health and well-being.
  • They offer free and confidential rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing. Learn more about El Centro/The Hub and its impact on the Greater Birmingham Area.

Show your support for the Way Station

Construction of the Way Station is expected to take eight months, with services anticipated to begin in June or July of 2022.

Expected construction costs are $4.2 million. The Way Station capital campaign is ongoing and would greatly benefit from your support. 

For $100 dollars, you may even purchase an engraved brick to be laid in the entranceway to the Way Station. It’s a great way to honor or memorialize someone special. Donate here
To learn more about AIDS Alabama and to stay up to date on the Way Station, visit their website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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