The Dodge Jones Foundation awarded $200,000 to BCFS Health and Human Services’ (BCFS HHS) Abilene Transition Center to expand the facility’s physical footprint and, therefore, it’s capacity to serve more youth and young adults in need throughout the Big Country.
Since opening in 2010, the transition center has quadrupled the number of lives it touches annually. Currently, the center serves approximately 200 youth and families each month, offering support services that include case management; counseling; assistance with education, employment and housing; life skills training; college preparation; and transition planning. It is a “one-stop-shop” for youth in or aging out of foster care, those in the juvenile justice system, or others struggling with challenges such as homelessness, substance abuse, unplanned pregnancy, and more.
“The growth we’ve experienced in such a short time is truly a testament to the need and effectiveness of the ‘one stop’ model of delivering care,” said Terri Hipps, executive director of BCFS’ Community Services Division.
“The Dodge Jones Foundation has been one of our greatest champions, supporters and partners since opening our doors three years ago,” she continued. “Our shared philosophy recognizes that the investment they are making today is not in BCFS HHS, but rather in the belief that every child in our community, regardless of their past, can be part of the fabric that makes Abilene a safe and prosperous place to call home.”
Collocating with community partners, such as the Texas Workforce Commission and local universities, allows the BCFS HHS center to offer comprehensive – and non-duplicated – services in an effective and cost-efficient manner. Expansion of the center will nearly double its size, making it possible to dedicate more space for partners, as well as bolster the center’s capacity to reach a larger number of youth and families. Construction is planned to begin in January and be completed by springtime.