New shelter serves children

Wednesday, March 26th 2008, 7:20 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

A new shelter was built specifically to serve children.

Funded largely through a $5 million grant from the Donald W-Reynolds Foundation, it is the only children's shelter serving Canadian, Blaine and Kingfisher counties.

Dee Blose is the executive director of Youth and Family Services, the non-profit that operates the shelter.

"We've been working on this over five years, so for this day to finally come that we're able to dedicate this building is really a dream come true for a lot of people that have been working really hard on this project," Blose said.

The shelter has 16 beds, six more than the facility it replaces, and is a major upgrade according to Board President of Youth and Family Services, John Miller.

"If you had seen our old facility, the difference is night and day; we have so much more room here, it's so much more comfortable here, for the kids," Miller said.

The shelter takes kids from birth to age 18 who have nowhere to go.

"A lot of them are here because of a family situation that is not good, they've been abused or they've been neglected and they need somebody to step in a give them a safe place," Blose said.

Bikers Against Child Abuse, or BACA, are firm believers in giving kids a safe place, which is why they not only put together this room for the teens at the shelter, but why they're donating more than a $1,000 a month to help with operating costs.

The shelter also takes overflow from Oklahoma County. Half the kids that came through their doors last year were from Oklahoma County.

In addition to the shelter, the Caring Center also offers counseling, parent training courses and various education services.