There are currently OVER 295,000 children in the Texas Foster Care System. To our great shame, Texas ranks #1 in this vital statistic. In San Antonio, there are less than 350 emergency beds for children and teens that are removed from their natural or foster families because of abuse, violence, abandonment or other traumas. When there are no emergency beds available for them, they are many times returned to the same family where there may be some very serious safety concerns for them. Sadly, many run away and get caught up in gangs, drugs and teen prostitution. Unbelievably, some have been killed at the hands of their own caretakers.
That is why JJM is focused on building a new 150 bed Emergency Children’s Shelter to serve the children and teens of San Antonio and its surrounding communities. Existing Emergency Shelters typically have 12-50 beds only. It is imperative that a new emergency Shelter be built as soon as possible to secure the safety of our most defenseless citizens, our minor children. We have been dangerously under-served in this critical area for much too long.
“I have had the pleasure of working with JJM for the last two years and have been blessed with meeting many wonderful children and appreciating Christmas for what it is ,GIVING. I hope to be able to do this for many more years and I am willing to contribute more time, talent, and treasure.”
– Gary Wolff
The Open Arms Emergency Children’s Shelter is scheduled to open its doors in Summer of 2016. People ask “How will this Shelter be different?” It will be different in multiple ways beginning with the following:
- This Shelter will have a Christ-centered curriculum
- The children will be healed and nurtured with unconditional love and acceptance
- Prayer, Music, Animal, Art and Dance Therapies will be used
- The children and teens will be taught how to discover their god-given talents and purpose
- When age appropriate, they will be taught Entrepreneurial skills and mindsets
- The Shelter will have an Organic Garden and Fruit Orchard to assist with the food needs of the Shelter
- The Shelter will have its own Food Bank and Thrift Center to assist with the needs of the children
- The Shelter will open its own Foster Placement Agency to assure children are placed in loving and safe families
- The Shelter will be GREEN, utilizing many green technologies to minimize overhead expenses
- We will capture water, recycle it and utilize grey water for the gardens, orchards and landscaping
- The Shelter has a goal to be self-sustained in 5 years or less
- We will teach sustainability to the children and their families or guardians
- We will offer life and job skills and money management to the families
- We will offer counseling to the families in these areas: family, parenting, marriage, finances and credit reconstruction
- We will use a “Pay It Forward” agreement with the families and guardians that receive services from us
- Age appropriate children and teens will be taught community service
Open Arms Children’s Shelter needs YOU to become a reality. There are many, many ways you can support this Vision. Contact us today to discuss the possibilities and help us Build a Legacy of Love.