Clark County Youth Shelter and Family Services (CCYSFS) serves both youth and families in times of crisis. The shelter provides a safe place for teens to stay for 5-20 days while family issues are addressed. In May the Centra Foundation awarded a grant of $1,000 to purchase educational materials for the Independent Living Program. Most of the teens come from an unstable and dysfunctional home that lacks the important day-to-day guidance for them to develop particular life skills. The modules and additional individual sessions on financial literacy are a key part in developing an understanding of finances and other important life skills.
The grant enabled CCYSFS to purchase a series of DVD’s and several financial literacy board games. The expanded curriculum includes budgeting and the use of bank and credit card accounts. Board games, such as I’m Debt Free and Living on Your Own are played during recreational time. Residents gain practical, day-to-day knowledge they may not be able to receive anywhere else.
A recent resident completed the curriculum and at the age of 18 is now regarded as an independent adult. Ashley Nelson, Assistance Director shared how CCYSFS’ Independent Living Program helped "Brandon."
At the young age of 17, Brandon found himself alone with no family willing or able to become his guardian. Faced with the fear of an unknown future, the Clark County Youth Shelter came into his life. He had plans to graduate high school, get a job, and start college…all on his own. While Brandon was very ambitious and bright, he did not have the knowledge or skills on how to achieve his goals. The direct care workers and staff at the Shelter were able to provide Brandon with hands-on, teachable moments to develop his independent living skills. Brandon learned the basics of opening and maintaining checking accounts, savings plans, the nature of credit cards, and much more. Now an independent and smart 18-year-old adult, he has left the Shelter, graduated high school, acquired a job, and is currently applying to local colleges. Shortly before he left the Shelter, he said, “Without the Shelter, I’m not sure where I would be right now.”
Thanks to the Centra Foundation, CCYS was able to purchase materials that allowed Brandon the opportunity to develop skills he would use for the rest of his life.
To learn more about Clark County Youth Shelter and Family Services vist http://ccysfs.org/