Mid-Del Youth Shelter Needs Donations For New Driveway

Monday, November 14th 2011, 7:09 pm
By: News 9

A shelter that temporarily houses kids from dangerous situations is in need of some help itself.

The Mid-Del Youth and Family Center's youth shelter is in an old house in eastern Oklahoma county.  It can accommodate up to ten children, but it's not necessarily what you would call "comfortable."

Gail Andrews has been the shelter's director for 17 years.  She's a little more direct in describing the old house.

"Deteriorating is what this house is doing," said Andrews.  "It's falling apart."

The sink in the boys' bathroom has separated from the wall, and the floor in the bathroom seems to give and dip every few feet.  There's a huge patch on the ceiling in the rec room where it fell through not long ago.  Vinyl siding has fallen off the  back of the house, leaving a large bare spot.

The organization purchased a newer and larger shelter about five miles away just three years ago.  It has new flooring, new paint, and can accommodate an additional five children, but the group can't move in yet. 

The house, which sits about 100 yards from the street, has a winding gravel road leading up to it.  That road is the main problem.  It needs to be substantial enough to accommodate fire trucks all the way up to the house.  

To do that, the road needs to be built out of concrete and several trees will probably have to be cut down.  The driveway plus the required fire alarms and sprinklers total around $90,000.  Mid-Del Youth and Family has raised about $10,000 of that.

"The main thing holding us out of that house is that  driveway," Andrews said.

Jeremy Wente, the group's executive director, agrees.

'It really is a safety issue," Wente said.  "That's one reason why we're kinda held up."

Mid-Del's current shelter will have to do for now, according to Wente.  He's  hoping that the agencies involved understand the situation. 

"They're giving us some grace right now knowing that this is where we're going," Wente said.  "But that house is kind of on its last leg."