More Space for Youth Crisis Center
New expanded space for the Youth Crisis Center in Casper. Executive Director, Dick Dresang, says its gonna happen one way or another, but right now they're eyeing left over Stimulus funds for use in construction that they want completed by next June.
"What were looking at doing is adding an addition on to the existing Crisis Center, which would be designed more specifically for a gap in our community in regard to children needing a short term, almost a tune-up instead of an over-hall- and I don't mean to make kids sound like an engine - but were looking to provide short term services instead of the long term services."
Dresang says for many years the Youth Crisis Center has been the emergency shelter for young people; Serving runaways, abused or abandoned kids, or those in need of intervention with parents. Adding on to their main center means letting go of their out campus sites; The Hemry home, and the R.L Mills home. Dresang says the expansion comes as the mission of YCC evolves.
"Like years ago we use to have orphanages and people moved away from orphanages and went to more group homes and now we're seeing a trend moving away from group homes to getting into more individualized specialized treatment."
Dresang says the expansion and subsequent consolidation will be good for the bottom line, but more than that, it will bring about improvement to their ability to meet individual care needs.
As for funding, Dresang says there are stimulus funds in the state ear marked for juvenile services that need to be used by next June. He hopes some of those unused federal dollars (perhaps as much as $4-5 million) will come their way. If not, he says, they'll raise the $ 1.2 million needed for the expansion privately. "My board has made a commitment that we're going to build this addition, come stimulus funds or not, its just a need that we have for this community to provide another step in the continuum of services to juveniles."