LUBBOCK, Texas — Two years in the making for the state’s first Qualified Residential Treatment Program. Saint Francis Ministries’ Residential Texas is a live-in facility in North Lubbock that will provide psychiatric care for struggling foster children.
“This is what families need,” said Rachel Williams-Ehue, SFM regional vice president. “This is what children need in order to really grow in the community, not grow outside of the community, and then worry about coming back to the community. This gives them the opportunity to heal and grow right here.”
It’s a 21-bed facility that will soon take in these young kids and give them a safe place to stay. Prior to the opening of Residential Texas, the Panhandle Region, which serves 41 counties, had 35 beds.
“For kids in Lubbock, to keep them home, to keep them going to the same school and have the same friends,” said William Clark, SFM president and CEO. “It reduces the trauma on them, and it helps them heal quicker. It goes back to giving them the opportunity. It also sets a model for the state of Texas.”
For KLBK evening anchor Terri Furman, the grand opening hit close to home.
“Being a former foster parent and an adoptive parent, I can tell you these programs are crucial to make sure that children in the system have the very basics that so many of us take for granted – love, acceptance, safety, having a home to come home to,” Furman said.
The nonprofit’s goal is to offer therapy and counseling to help these children, ages 13-18, get back on their feet.
“For kids that have emotional, behavioral and mental health issues, we’re going to bring the therapeutic programs that they need to get them stabilized, get them back on track, and get them back into a traditional foster home,” said Kristina Brown, SFM’s executive director of Residential Texas.
Clark said if it wasn’t for an organization like SFM that helped him when he was growing up, he doesn’t believe he would still be alive today.
“Personally, as part of my own journey in life, where I started as a teenager, and how one caring adult, one caring organization had an impact and helped me move from statistic to success,” Clark said. “The impact of what we did today, I can’t explain it.”
Now, SFM is just waiting on the state’s approval but is hoping to start taking kids in by March 20.
For more information, visit the SFM website.