Donations needed for new Lubbock children's shelter - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Donations needed for new Lubbock children's shelter

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

A new children's shelter is scheduled to open its doors in Lubbock this June.

The Texas Boys Ranch recently acquired assets of the South Plains Children's Shelter, which recently closed its doors. The property includes a six-bedroom home located near Lubbock High School.

The Texas Boys Ranch plans on using this home as a 24/7 temporary housing shelter that can take in children who are removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.

They said up to 16 children can stay in that shelter until more permanent placement is available.

Mike Wilson is the program director for the Texas Boys Ranch. Wilson said they acquired the home in January and are already planning some big renovations.

He describes it as a labor of love.

"There are good people out there. They've got good hearts and they are willing to help," Wilson said.

Wilson said the staff at the Texas Boys Ranch is having to get creative when it comes to housing children in emergency situations.

"We had a sibling group of four girls that had been at the ranch for about a year. We had gotten to know them, love them, take care of them, and they got to go back home with their father," Wilson said.

He said recently, those girls were removed from their home again, but the Texas Boys Ranch was at capacity at 32 people, meaning those girls were going to have to find another place to stay.

"We didn't want them going someplace else, we wanted them to know that we still cared for them, so we actually converted our counseling center into a makeshift cottage to take care of them," Wilson said.

He said the new property is a perfect solution.

"We are going to open it up as an emergency shelter. We are going to take children zero to 18, children who have been removed from their families because of abuse or neglect. We will take them day or night," he said.

Wilson said he will schedule all of the children's assessments and medical appointments before they move to more permanent placement.

The remodel is estimated to cost about $80,000. So far, they have raised about $20,000. 

"I want to give them as many normalizing experiences as I can in the midst of the traumatic experience they are going through," Wilson said.

He plans on having home-cooked meals in a family setting. 

Wilson hopes the Lubbock community will step in and help with the rest of the funds needed to complete the renovation.

Collier Construction is doing a large part of the renovations. Wilson said they are doing everything at cost, so they are not receiving a dime of profit.

"These are our own children from our own neighborhoods that need a place to stay so they can get counseling, get past the trauma or the abuse that they've experienced so they can learn about Jesus and they can just be cared for and be nurtured. That's what we're here to do and so having a community that supports us in that just means a lot to me," Wilson said.

While they do need financial assistance and they can also use people's new or gently used clothing. Volunteers are also needed.

To learn more about how to volunteer or donate, just contact the Texas Boys Ranch at www.texasboysranch.org.

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