SARASOTA, FL – Local community-based care organization Safe Children Coalition is continuing to move forward with its capital campaign, planning and construction of its new Youth Shelter. Architectural firm Clifford M. Scholz Architects – with Rick Oswald leading the team – is designing the new facility and Tandem Construction has recently been retained as the builder.
The new Youth Shelter is critical to our community and SCC’s efforts to protect area youths: there are typically over 2,000 teens who are homeless in Circuit 12 (Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties) and there is always a waiting list for the shelter.
The SCC Youth Shelter provides a safe space for homeless or unaccompanied teens who are without safe shelter due to extreme parental conflict, abuse or neglect, or a parent’s inability to cope. Teens may also be experiencing homelessness as a result of a mental health crisis, substance/alcohol abuse, or teens may be ordered to the shelter by the court. The previous Youth Shelter was more than 60 years old and limited the number of teens the program could serve. Homeless youths are currently being cared for at a temporary facility in north Sarasota while the new Youth Shelter campaign is underway.
SCC leaders note that, for the past few years, the SCC Youth Shelter has been first or second in facility utilization out of the 30 shelters in the Florida network. With the one-two punch of the pandemic and then Hurricane Ian, the need has only increased.
The new Youth Shelter will be located on Sawyer Road in north Sarasota, sitting on two acres of land. The nearly 9,000-square-foot building will provide safe emergency, temporary housing for youth ages 10-17, and is designed to reduce the list of youth waiting for safe shelter, and house the maximum number of youths allowed by its contract consistently throughout the year. The ultimate goal of the Youth Shelter program is to reunite youth with their families as appropriate, or to help parents find resources for more appropriate care, thereby keeping teens out of foster care. The new Youth Shelter will provide nearly 3,000 safe shelter bed-nights a year and serve up to 200 youth annually for many years to come.
For more about Safe Children Coalition or to learn how you can support the effort to build the new Youth Shelter, contact Jacqueline House at email@example.com or call 941-371-4799, ext. 1127.
About Safe Children Coalition, Inc.
Safe Children Coalition, Inc. (SCC) serves as the lead agency for community-based care for Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. SCC is a collaboration between local community agencies who provide services to children and families in need. SCC is committed to protecting children, strengthening families, and building community. The core functions provided by SCC include child welfare case management, foster care, adoption, independent living, prevention, diversion, quality management, and support services. Visit sccfl.org or call 941-371-4799.