HAYES COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – There is a huge need to help foster children find some stability in their lives. Many of them move from facility to facility.
The Burke Youth Center hopes to adopt a few more children but needs help to help others.
There are currently 24 boys aged 10 to 17 living in the centre.
“Our focus is only on foster children who have been abused, neglected, and we take care of them,” said Steve Fournier, the center’s executive director.
They provide therapy and care while these children try to find a foster home or be adopted. The center helps these young guys in their struggles, but lately the center itself has been struggling.
“We are in deficit every month to fund our operational needs,” Fournier said.
With costs rising and donations dwindling, Fournier said money is running out.
“It hits you all around food prices, gas prices and labor costs. We raised our rates for employees by $5 an hour,” Fournier said.
This led them to reduce daily staff and overtime. Their financial burdens have drawn the attention of the Hays County Commissioners Court, which will consider sending them money from the American Bailout Act.
“Honestly, it’s going to help us get out of the hole we’re in,” Fournier said.
Even with these challenges, the center continues its work. Work that care adviser Lindsey Williams said was meaningful to both the boys and staff.
“It changes you too. It really touches your soul. It really touches your spirit to be able to work with these kids,” Williams said.
Fournier said that once they get more staff, they will be able to hire more boys under their care.
The funding vote is on the agenda for tomorrow’s Hays County Commissioners Court.