The Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives Emergency shelter, “The Bridge,” is at capacity.
“It’s very rare to have this many kids come in this short of a time,” said Renee Garvens, Development Director for Roy Maas Youth Alternatives.
Eighteen children are currently being housed in the shelter, including many referred by Child Protective Services.
“These kids are going through a lot, I mean they are torn from their homes,” Garvens went on to say.
On a day-to-day basis, Garvens says staff doesn’t know which kids will be there. “I know other shelters are experiencing capacity as well.”
Garvens added the reason why shelters are full may be because kids are out of school and there’s less structure.
“Kids have more freedom, parents are more stressed out, and I think that is just the perfect storm,” Garvens went on to say.
The shelter is doing what it can to make sure the kids have an enjoyable summer, and are also looking for sponsors so the kids can go places.
“We have five, six, and seven year olds right now who might wanna go to the Children’s Museum that just opened,” said Garvens.
Roy Mass’ Youth Alternatives also offers counseling to help families in need.
Every child has a story, and every situation is different. While the “The Bridge” is able to keep children safe, Garvens says it doesn’t have to get to this point.
“To be able to get some help and find out what resources are out there for them, if they do feel like they’re at the end of their rope.”
If you’d like more information on counseling services or would like to help sponsor children at “The Bridge,” you can call (210) 340-8077.
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