“One of many issues that has been vital to us is to actually be collaborative with different organizations on the town,” he mentioned.
Abilene has many assets for at-risk teenagers who face an unstable dwelling life, however tapping into these social companies across the metropolis may be daunting for teen.
The drop-in heart means a teen solely has to know to go to at least one place the place “we are able to rally collectively all the opposite teams to offer them care,” Siburt mentioned.
The middle might be staffed with screened and skilled adults for the sake of security. A industrial kitchen and eating space will enable for shared meals and to-go choices.
There additionally might be couches and cots for momentary resting areas, showers and laundry services, homework and pc lab and lockers for teenagers to retailer belongings.
Further house might be devoted to suppliers who provide mentoring, counseling and tutoring. Teenagers additionally may join with religion communities and potential employers on the drop-in heart.
Artwork, music and different artistic retailers and internships with native college college students will provide hope and inspiration, Siburt mentioned.
Primarily based on data from John Meier, who works with homeless veterans by way of the West Central Texas Regional Basis, “75% to 80% of individuals that have homelessness as adults did as youngsters or as children,” Siburt mentioned.
Participating with teenagers dealing with homelessness will assist “deal with it at a systemic degree, figuring out hopefully it’s going to assist them afterward,” he mentioned.
How program advanced
The previous government minister at Highland Church of Christ, Siburt mentioned he has been working to develop a teen drop-in heart for a few 12 months.
On the church “we had been engaged on searching for a program that we may have interaction, and that is the place this actually bubbled up as a necessity,” Siburt mentioned. “It felt like one of the best ways to satisfy that want was for it to be type of its personal separate factor.”
He credit Carin Ezzell with discovering the teenager drop-in heart mannequin and doing extra analysis on the idea. The volunteers checked out a heart in Waco. Related services are in El Paso, Fort Value and Rogers, Arkansas, Siburt mentioned.
CitySquare Abilene is functioning as a form of a franchise of CitySquare, a Dallas-based nonprofit whose president/CEO is John SIburt, Ben’s brother.
“We might be run by an Abilene board that is made up of Abilene folks. And, all the cash that we increase goes to Abilene,” Siburt mentioned.
By partnering with CitySquare, although, Abilene will be capable of faucet into the nonprofit’s 30 years of expertise in serving to neighbors in poverty, together with management teaching and grant writing, Siburt mentioned.
The kids being helped could not all be in disaster, Siburt mentioned.
“A few of these college students, they might simply be residing with a grandparent, and that is a superb scenario, however the grandparent simply wants assist with their homework,” Siburt mentioned.
In his years in ministry at Highland, Siburt has encountered at-risk teenagers who struggled to laundry their clothes or spent a few nights at a good friend’s home till the mother and father there mentioned they needed to go elsewhere.
“I believe I am all the time simply impressed by how a lot they’re having to handle,” Siburt mentioned.
A preliminary design for the drop-in heart is offered on the web site citysquare.org/abilene. Extra formal designs that incorporate suggestions from CitySquare Abilene’s companions might be accomplished in March of April.
Till these plans are accomplished, a transforming funds has not been set. However, Siburt mentioned he ballparks the determine at about $1.2 million.
Organizer hoped to have the drop-in heart open by faculty’s begin within the fall, however disruptions within the development trade as a result of pandemic and provide chain points will most likely push the open date additional again, Siburt mentioned.
Within the meantime, work continues to boost funds and plan for operations.
“I am diving into this, and transitioned to give attention to this full-time as a result of I actually do consider in it. And, I am humbled to get to be part of all these folks which can be already serving these children courageously and faithfully,” Siburt mentioned.
For details about the teenager drop-in heart and the best way to make a donation, go to the web site citysquare.org/abilene or name Siburt at 903-312-7770.
Laura Gutschke is a basic task reporter and meals columnist and manages on-line content material for the Reporter-Information. In case you admire domestically pushed information, you may help native journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.
CitySquare and St. Ann Hospital venture
The teenager drop-in heart just isn’t Dallas-based CitySquare’s first foray into Abilene. The nonprofit had plans to transform the shuttered St. Ann Hospital at 1350 Cypress St. into 34 effectivity flats for beforehand homeless folks.
After a groundbreaking in November 2017, organizers found a extra critical asbestos downside. A fireplace in April 2017 had induced the asbestos in a single space to unfold.
Additional stalling the venture is a lack of a significant funding associate.
“The final bump we hit was COVID-related, really, with an investor that pulled out the final minute as a result of their firm throughout COVID was stopping all investments for some time,” mentioned Ben Siburt with CitySquare Abilene, a franchise of CitySquare.
“That is one of many issues we’ll be engaged on is deciding what to do with that venture,” Siburt mentioned. “Both we hold it going or do one thing totally different to assist the housing want.”
Sisters of the Divine Windfall based St. Ann Hospital in 1940. It closed in 1968.
Extra:St. Ann Place venture nonetheless entering into north Abilene, simply going slowly