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Too Cold For Comfort In The City; Help Keep These Kids Warm

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
The front of Roy Maas Youth Alternatives at Basse and West Avenue

  Cold temperatures early in the season caught some not for profit organizations off guard this year. Roy Maas Youth Alternatives, a long and short-term shelter for abused and neglected children in the state’s system, is short about 50 coats for its 100 children. Renee Garvens, community and donor relations’ coordinator, said the problem was that children came and went, and staying stocked up could be a challenge.

“Tomorrow, at the emergency shelter, there could be a significantly differently set of children than there are today, because it is a short-term care facility, we want the kids to take those coats with them when they go,” said Garvens.

There are about 70 children at its shelter in Boerne and 23 in the short-term in San Antonio. “There will be new children and they’ll need new coats, so we have the coats that have an immediate need for and then a reserve to survive the whole winter.”

These are two stories on kids currently in care at Roy Maas. The names of the children were changed to protect their privacy. Jessie, Carolyn and Ryan (8, 11, and 13) have been with us since CPS removed them from the hotel they had been living in for over a year, six people sharing one hotel room. The siblings lost their father in a tragic accident. They will remain in CPS care until their mom is able to show proof that she has a better, more suitable living environment and that the children will begin attending school regularly in her care.  In the meantime, they are glad they are able to stay together. Jose (14) finds himself in our care because he has no place else to go. His parents have both been arrested on drug charges and he hasn’t attended school regularly in years. He misses his mom everyday but he’s glad to be in a place where he is safe, eating every day and able to go to school. It’s hard on him that he wouldn’t continue to lie for his parents but he had to get out of there because he just couldn’t take it anymore. He hopes that when his mom is released, she will quit using drugs and he can live with her again.

They had to clear out their entire stock of winter clothes from their thrift shop. There are plenty of summer clothes, but not enough gloves, caps, sweaters and other items. People interested in donating can drop off the clothes at the thrift store at Basse Road and West Avenue.