Building A 'Bridge' For Bexar County Kids In Crisis
A new emergency shelter is opening for at-risk youth in San Antonio, including children who are homeless, neglected or abused.
Nearly 2,000 young people were referred to the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department in the first half of 2017, from runaways to youths with Class A & B misdemeanors like assault and burglary.
For troubled youth, maintaining normalcy is key to healthy personal growth and preventing further problems in the home, at school or with law enforcement.
Local organization Roy Maas Youth Alternatives has served over 80,000 children since 1976. Its short-term emergency shelter The Bridge is the only service of its kind in the county, providing 24-hour residential care, food, clothing, education and life-skills training for at-risk youth ages 5 to 17.
A $1.5 million facility opening August 22 on West Avenue will be the shelter's new home, more fully equipped to meet the needs of San Antonio's most vulnerable residents.
Later this fall, RMYA will also open a drop-in center for child victims of sex trafficking and a therapeutic emergency placement program for difficult-to-place youths in state care.
How will these and other efforts aid abused, neglected and at-risk children in Bexar County?
- Bill Wilkinson, CEO of Roy Maas Youth Alternatives (RYMA)
- Maricla Morales, deputy chief with the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department
- Joe Macumba, retired Navy Chief Petty Officer and former resident of RMYA’s The Bridge
For more information on human trafficking, call the national hotline number: 1-888-373-7888
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