SAFE Shelter Center for Domestic Violence Services will hold a ribbon cutting Wednesday, Sept. 30 for its new, 1,500 square foot Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Center designed to hold activities and services geared towards children ages 12-18.
“We’ve never had anything at the shelter for older kids,” Branch said. “We take kids with moms up to age 18. We have a play room, standard playground equipment but it’s all for little kids. This new center will give the older ones a place just for them.”
Designed to be educational and fun, the YES Center will contain TVs and video games, a foosball table or table hockey, board games, musical instruments, a small library and a computer lab.
“We may bring in a speaker. We may get someone from Hunter Army Air Base to talk about careers in the military—or someone from Gulfstream. Or someone from Armstrong or Savannah State, one of the local colleges” to talk about their offerings, Branch said. “If someone’s interested in law enforcement, we may bring in someone who talks about what you have to do to be a police officer.”
SAFE Shelter will try to cater to the requests from their youth. If a group of young people want a certain type of physical exercise, counseling service or extra activity, the shelter will do its best to provide that request to the children.
“This will be a place where kids can relax and forget about being in a shelter for a while,” Branch said. “It’s hard for anybody to be in a shelter. You’re not in your house. You’re not with your friends. It’s stressful. Our YES Center will be a place for teens to try to take the stress off.”