After surviving homelessness as a child, it was a business program that allowed Nyah Phillips to create and facilitate her plan to save other homeless youth the shame and angst that comes along with living in a shelter.
“When I was 6 years old me and my siblings and my parents were in a homeless shelter,” Nyah said.
It was a rough time for the now 15-year-old and her five siblings with not so much as the most basic of necessities.
“There were many things that we needed, we didn’t really have soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste so everything is in my pack we really needed,” she said.
A bag filled with personal hygiene items called Pure Packs is the product of a social movement to become a nonprofit organization called Pure Purpose. Nyah started the company through the YEA the Young Entrepreneurs Academy which is a prestigious 30 week program offered by the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce to Metro Detroit Youth.
“The purpose of Pure Pack is to provide the homeless with everyday essentials so they won’t be so open to disease and infections and to provide them with the sense of comfort, confidence and dignity,” Nyah said.
They’re dangers and disgrace Nyah and her mother, Nicole know all too well.
“To be able to walk into a place and feel proud, knowing you’re in a demeaning situation to feel comfortable and confident, it’s a big difference because I know what it feels like to not,” mom Nicole Coutrier-Phillips said.
But it’s through helping others and reflecting on her past that Nyah has been able to build self-confidence back up.
“I had a lack of confidence for a long time even after the shelter,” Nyah said. “I was self-conscious about myself for a lot of ways but through the program, helping other people, I don’t know how but it kind of lifted me up.”
Strength she is now using to lift others up.
“We get it, we know how you feel and I can’t do everything for you but I hope just this little bit gets you through to the next opportunity,” Nicole said.
They’re now moving on with gratitude for their new beginning.
“I’m in a stable home, me and my five siblings and my mom we have a stable home and we have everything we need I couldn’t ask for anything else,” Nyah said.
Nyah is running Pure Purpose all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA. She’s always looking for donations for her Pure Packs.
Donation items needed: Body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, water bottle, socks, lotion, dry shampoo.
They can be dropped off 4905 Schaefer Rd, Dearborn, MI 48126.