Home Local News CRITTENTON CENTER PERMANENTLY CLOSES YOUTH SHELTER

CRITTENTON CENTER PERMANENTLY CLOSES YOUTH SHELTER

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SIOUX CITY’S CRITTENTON CENTER HAS MADE THE DECISION TO CLOSE THE DOORS ON ITS EMERGENCY YOUTH SHELTER AT 3901 GREEN AVENUE.

THE DECISION COMES AFTER THE AGENCY WAS FORCED TO TEMPORARILY SUSPEND SERVICES AT THE SHELTER IN EARLY APRIL BECAUSE OF COVID-RELATED STAFFING SHORTAGES.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LESLIE HEYING SAYS IN ADDITION TO STAFF ABSENTEEISM RELATED TO COVID, THE PANDEMIC HAS ALSO TAKEN A TOLL ON THEIR HIRING PROCESS.

THE SHELTER OPENED IN THE LATE 1970S FOR CHILDREN UP TO AGE 17 TO PROVIDE A SAFE, TEMPORARY REFUGE.

THE MAJORITY OF REFERRALS WERE FROM JUVENILE COURT SERVICES AND THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES.

APPROXIMATELY 180 CLIENTS WERE CARED FOR AT THE SHELTER IN 2020, MANY OF THOSE FROM OUTSIDE OF WOODBURY COUNTY.

HEYING SAYS THERE WAS AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF CLIENTS WITH MULTIPLE MENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSES AND HISTORIES OF PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL AGGRESSION WHICH REQUIRED A HIGHER LEVEL OF CARE THAN THE SHELTER WAS DESIGNED AND EQUIPPED TO PROVIDE.

TERRIE RASHEED, CHAIR OF CRITTENTON CENTER’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS, SAYS THEY HAVE CANCELLED THEIR CURRENT DHS CONTRACT UNTIL AN EVALUATION OF THE BEST PATH FORWARD FOR THE SHELTER CAN BE IMPLEMENTED,