Tattoos for the community: raising awareness for homeless teens

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- A local tattoo shop spent the day Tuesday raising awareness and money for homeless teens in our area.

Calamity Jane’s Tattoo on North Avenue in Grand Junction and The House, which provides a safe place for runaway and at-risk youth, teamed up for a good cause.

"Tattoos are permanent and homelessness doesn't have to be,” said John Mok-Lamme, Executive Director for Karis Inc. and The House.

Dozens of people came out to show their support by getting temporary tattoos with the House's phone number on them. Helping spread the word to those who may need to turn to them in their time of need.

"So that youth in our community can know that if they are in trouble and homeless they can call (970) 234-7004 anytime, day or night and we will have someone out there to help them,” said Mok-Lamme.

For Teen advocate Madisyn Porter the decision was easy.

"I am getting a tattoo to promote and end teen homelessness…a simple outline of the house with home written inside of it,” said Madisyn Porter, Teen Advocate for The House.

Since 2012, the House has helped over 500 homeless and at-risk youth in Mesa County.

"We house youth from ages 13 to 20 and it's a 21-day stay where we get assigned an advocate, you get any of your main medical goals any kind of goals that you have to get you on a steady path,” said Porter.

Offering them a warm bed, food, and counseling.

"There are about 250 maybe 300 youth every year that are homeless and we know that if we can intervene now their future can be so bright,” said Mok-Lamme.

Madisyn’s tattoo was free, but all deposits made at the event will be donated to the House.

"People just come in to learn about the program that they offer so I think people learning about the House and the services they offer is really important,” said Aaron LeGore, owner and tattoo artist at Calamity Jane’s.

Executives from the House say they are going to make this an annual event.

"This is a problem within Mesa County that we are taking our strides to try and end it,” said Porter.

If you want to help support the House or want a tattoo yourself, you can stop by Calamity Janes until Wednesday before 6 p.m. and make a deposit.

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