Isabella County man overcomes homelessness, now helps others

Cold temperatures continue to draw awareness to homelessness.

An Isabella County man shares his own story of spending winters on the streets.

Trying to make it through terribly cold nights, where your body hurts from staying outside. Ryan Griffutus remembers those moments like it was yesterday.

“I still recall the feelings of fear I had when I didn't have a plan for where I was going to sleep that night,” he said.

At just 12 years old Ryan became homeless in Saginaw County because of a family situation.

“People don't choose to be homeless I didn't choose to be homeless and I didn't choose to stay homeless. It comes in all different forms and fashions I slept on couches floors and sometimes in the families that took me in who had beds,” Ryan said.

Ryan bounced from home to home.

“I was crippled by fear,” he said.

Even braving nights in the elements until he went to Central Michigan University for school. Now you'll find Ryan helping others just like him at the Isabella County Restoration House.

“We are leaving no stone unturned for those that need help,” he said.

The organization has a rotating shelter during bitter winter nights. During the day people experiencing homelessness come to their new day shelter.

“Participate in very productive activities that promote self-sufficiency such as job searching, resume building, we also bring service providers here as well,” he said.

Now Ryan brings paying it forward full circle and changes lives just like others did for him years ago.

“People truly can come into to our shelter and turn their life around and that's what we try to do,” he said.

If you want to donate to the Isabella County Restoration House, click here.

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