Today, we completed renovations to our Children’s Building on the Safehouse campus. The building was originally the vision of the late B.T. Collins who raised the funds to build the structure through his birthday party. He dreamed of a safe place where kids could just be kids. After two decades of heavy “wear and tear” the space needed a serious facelift. The Association of Commercial Real Estate provided the seed money to initiate the project with proceeds from the Broker of the Year Award (BOYA) in 2010. Many other generous donors joined the project over the past two years including HomeAid who helped secure additional funding and volunteer labor for the project.
Today, the original vision of B.T. is reborn with the same goal – to let kids be kids. The space has been repurposed to meet the changing needs of children who have experienced domestic violence. Tomorrow, these children (175 a year) will enter the building as they go to school as space houses an onsite charter school. It is essentially a “one room schoolhouse” where a K-12 credentialed bilingual teacher works with the children to keep them on pace with their peers. Children learn in a safe and supportive environment without the fear of the abuser waiting for them after school. Children can receive therapeutic counseling and learn age-appropriate safety planning. The kitchen is a place where kids prepare snacks while learning about healthy eating. The library offers a quiet space with shelves of books for every reading level. The play area supports the most important part of the space – where kids do what kids are supposed to do – play.
Let the play begin.