Children’s Square USA held a ribbon cutting Friday to celebrate the completion of a $250,000 renovation of its children’s emergency shelter.

“This is a fantastic day for Children’s Square and an even better day for the children we serve,” said Phil Taylor, chief administrative officer.

The project was sponsored by the Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region and the Variety Children’s Charity, he said.

The project included a new roof, floor coverings, paint, therapeutic furniture, lighting and kitchen appliances, according to a press release from the organization.

The work was designed to help children entering the shelter to feel safe, the press release stated.

“The therapeutic design will help to reduce the impact of trauma and provide a homelike environment for the children who are in our care,” said Viv Ewing, president and CEO of Children’s Square. “The emergency shelter is the only program meeting the emergency needs of children in southwest Iowa through short-term care for children ages birth through 17.”

People are also reading…

“It’s just lightened things up and made it more homey for our children,” said John Holland, chief program officer.

The shelter serves children who are found alone or are referred to Children’s Square by the Iowa Department of Human Services, Holland said. The children attend public school, and the Children’s Square staff helps them with their homework and takes them on field trips.

“We try to keep things as normal as possible,” he said.

The open house was part of a yearlong celebration of Children’s Square’s 140th anniversary.

Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh said, “After 140 years, there’s still a tremendous need in the community. We appreciate all they do.”

Drew Kamp, president and CEO of the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce, complimented Children’s Square president and CEO Viv Ewing for her leadership.

“We’re so fortunate to have her in that position,” he said. “Thank you for all you do.”

The shelter can house up to 15 children from infants to 17-year-olds, Ewing said. Stays range from a week to 10 months. Even if a child’s family is identified, they will stay for a period of time.

“If they’re here, we know the family needs help,” she said. “So before they go back home, we make sure that the family gets what they need. We want to make sure that the child goes back to a stable home.”

Similar Posts