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Children's Village Creates A New Safe Haven

Children’s Village’s new Family Support Center creates a multi-faceted resource center for children and families across North Idaho



Children's Village Stancraft Construction

Photo courtesy of Children’s Village Family Support Center - Stancraft Construction Group


 

By Taylor Shillam


The Children's Village is "a trauma-responsive safe haven, restoring trust and hope for children and families who experience abuse, neglect, or are in crisis,” says Vanessa Moos, CEO. “Our newest Family Support Center is just that – responsive to what our community needs.”  


Vanessa says the 5,000-square-foot Family Support Center, located on West Hanley in Coeur d'Alene, will allow multiple agencies to assist families in crisis through community-based private case management and support centralization. 


"Funded entirely through one grant from the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections, Children’s Village is honored to be one of eight recipients of this funding in Idaho," Vanessa says. Its vision: compassionate communities where every child is safe, secure and nurtured in a stable and loving family.  


The Children's Village has spent years "aggressively adapting to the changing needs of North Idaho,” Vanessa affirms. “Our prior work as a children's shelter home was successful, but our 34 years in operation allowed us to see that our assistance was not breaking the cycle of generational poverty.” This was recognized when parents who once lived in Children’s Village homes as children then needed to place their own sons and daughters into its care. 


In 2021, Children’s Village was approached by Kootenai County law enforcement partners to collaborate for better youth and family support services for North Idaho. 


"After board approval, we applied for and received $1.5 million in funding to construct this facility on our 14 acres of debt-free land in central Coeur d’Alene," Vanessa shares. "In 2022, additional funding was received for $600,000, amounting to a total of $2.1 million to construct the building. Stancraft Construction Group worked with all the construction agencies to secure hundreds of thousands of dollars of in-kind support to make this project happen within the grant budget." 


Vanessa explained there is currently no multi-agency resource center in the district to pull together the resources of both law enforcement and social service agencies. 


"By creating the Family Resource Center, the Student Resource Officer can be a juvenile’s first point of contact and have an opportunity to immediately refer them to the Family Resource Center, where a case can be actively managed outside of the judicial system," she says. "By assessing the teen for risk factors, a case manager at the Family Resource Center can successfully enhance the five pillars for successful outcome of justice-involved juveniles, which according to the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections strategic plan include family engagement, skills building, counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy and education." 


To accomplish this and achieve the mission created by its founders, Children’s Village is actively engaged in a capital campaign to build a boys’ home for at-risk male youth in North Idaho. 


"With a future boys’ home, Children’s Village will be able to support children from the day of their birth into adulthood, as well as their families whether biological, foster or adoptive," Vanessa says.


She adds that being an independent nonprofit organization provides the Children's Village with freedom to move and change within the community but also creates scary funding constraints. 


"Without a national or even statewide umbrella over us, we have to raise over $1 million annually in order to keep our doors open," she shares. "Any amount of support, through donations of food or gift cards, through small or even large third-party events and fundraising, all of this helps us to serve our community in every way possible. We thank our donors and supporters for believing in us." 


Vanessa encourages the community to please consider supporting the Children's Village in their worthy efforts through time, talent and treasure. To learn more, visit TheChildrensVillage.org.



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