Community Youth Services, formerly known as the Community Children's Shelter, has been an important part of Ardmore's non-profit landscape for more than fifty years. Our agency has grown from a small residential shelter to a multi-faceted organization focused on providing refuge and healing for youth and families.
Our growth over the last fifty years, and especially over the last five years, has been exponential and we have outgrown our current facility and location many times over.
There is no more room for expansion, and yet we continue to see increasing numbers of referrals.
Our Board of Directors is launching a Capital Campaign to fund Phase One: a new facility, security and furnishing for a 15, 501 square-foot facility located at 830 Park Street SE on a 4.58-acre campus. Phase Two includes a transitional living program and facility as well as a gymnasium for increased recreational space for those physical and emotional needs!!
To date, July 27th, 2021, we have raised $2,317,229.88 of our $4,000,000 goal. How exciting!
Phase One: The new campus will contain a 10-bedroom/20 bed expanded emergency residence for homeless youth; administrative and counseling wing with an on-site educational center; and an outdoor living and recreational space for meeting diverse therapeutic needs.
Phase Two: A transitional living program and facility as well as a gymnasium for those physical and emotional needs!
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Q: Why do you need a larger space?
A: With a new and larger space, we can provide more than twice the amount of services for youth and families! From Jan 1st to April 8th, we were unable to accept 24 children to our residential children's emergency resource center or CERC (formerly known as the Children's Shelter). We have 5 bedrooms with 10 beds. However, the majority of our residents can't share a sleeping space (history of sexual abuse, history of sexual assault, request by the child and sexual orientation are all a few reasons why a child may not share a bedroom). This means we are often "full" with only 5 children.
In our counseling service, we currently have space for 5 clinicians but receive referrals year-round and the caseloads are always full.
Q: How will the 15,501 square feet be utilized?
A: Roughly 50% of the new facility is to be used for the CERC (formerly called the Shelter). There are 20 beds/10 bedrooms, 10 beds in each separate wing, tentatively used for separation of boys and girls. Additionally, there are four bathrooms, an intake office, an RA office, RA restroom and employee space for storage, kitchen, dining, indoor recreation, laundry, and storage space. The remainder of the space will be used for educational services, clinical services, waiting space, restrooms, donation acceptance/sorting/storage, IT, maintenance and lastly, two offices in the clinical wing are for administrative staff.
Allocation of Space
Children's Emergency Resource Center: 50%
Administration + Maintenance: 5%
Donation Intake: 2%
**These figures are approximate, could change, and do not include walls or built-ins**
Q: How much will this cost?
A: The tentative budget is $4,000,000. We have raised (pledged + in hand on 7/27/21) $2,317,229.88!! This is AMAZING!! Currently, we have grant applications to be turned in and possibly funded later this year at a total of $1,650,000. These funds are not guaranteed. With these numbers in mind, we will need to raise around $500,000 from our public campaign. So we need YOU to help us!!
Q: You have a "trust". How are you using those funds for this project?
A: We are privileged to have a Trust provided by previous Board members who made incredibly mindful fiscal and investment decisions. We used a portion of funds from this trust to purchase the 4.58 acre site, the architectural firm services, and demolition and clearing of the site. Our plan is to use funds from this trust to absorb the increased operational costs of more than doubling our space and service capacity, thereby preventing any future fundraising measures or grant requests for the specific purpose of covering the increased operational cost at the new campus. Fundraising and grants will always be a significant portion of our budget and are incredibly important to the operation of our agency, but we have a solid plan in place to prevent a budget shortfall in the first five years of operation as we increase services and operational costs such as electricity, equipment, security, water, staff, etc.
Q: What stage are you in for this project? Do you have a timeline?
A: As of July 2021, we have hired a construction management firm and are continuing to work with the architectural firm toward a Fall 2021 deadline. As always, this is subject to change and adjustment as we move through this process! Updates will be here as soon as we have the information!
Q: What services do you provide?
A: We provide both prevention and intervention services! Prevention includes educational classes, group services, counseling services, pregnant and parenting teen classes and emergency food, clothing & school supplies. Intervention services include our CERC, counseling, educational services and parenting classes.
Q: How many staff members do you have?
A: We have 19 staff members and are looking to hire 3 Resident Assistants and 2 licensed clinical staff members.
Potential front elevation of the 15,501 square-foot Phase One building on our 4.58-acre lot in southeast Ardmore.
Potential front elevation
Potential Aerial View
Potential dining area for the residents
Potential calm down and quiet space for the residents
A few details from Kaylyn Weldon-Gary and Brandi Pierce!
Videographer: K. Lornes Media