Safe Children Coalition and supporters celebrate Youth Shelter Campaign progress

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The Safe Children Coalition is making major strides in raising community support and funds for its new Youth Shelter.

Thanks to state Rep. Fiona McFarland, Sen. Joe Gruters, and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, SCC was recently awarded $750,000 in funding to support construction of the 9,000-square-foot shelter, which will be located on two acres on Sawyer Road in north Sarasota. The facility will offer nearly 3,000 shelter bed-nights a year and serve up to 200 youth annually, providing temporary emergency housing for teens ages 10-17 and reducing the list of homeless or unaccompanied youths waiting for shelter.

“The Youth Shelter is – and will continue to be – a critical resource that will help to divert area youths from unsafe environments and give them the opportunity to lead healthier, happier and more productive lives in the future,” SCC president and CEO Brena Slater said.

Teens at the shelter will also have transportation to and from school while working towards reunification with their families or other appropriate placement. Counseling, life skills training, additional services, and ongoing assessments will ensure better outcomes and stability, Slater said.

SCC recently held a Youth Shelter Campaign Milestone event to recognize those who have supported the effort with time and resources.

The event offered thanks for early donors and leadership volunteers, including those who assisted with the feasibility study, and SCC’s dedicated staff. A cornerstone of the celebration was the recent Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation $1 million gift, which included a $500,000 match that SCC leveraged to raise an additional $500,000, resulting in $1.5 million for the new facility.