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Carbon County Youth Crisis Center will reopen with new Volunteers of America Northern Rockies partnership

Row of buildings and trees in the distance.
Vasiliymeshko, CC BY-SA 4.0
Wikimedia Commons

Carbon County has not had a youth crisis center since the end of October when the previous provider left. But now Volunteers of America Northern Rockies has partnered with the county and city of Rawlins to reopen that center by April.

Volunteers of America Northern Rockies (VOA) CEO Jeff Holsinger said they got involved because the community of Rawlins reached out while trying to figure out a way to bring the eight-bed facility back.

"Really the passion they had for their children to remain in their community, be eligible to be served, well, that really spoke to us," said Holsinger. "That was something we don't necessarily see all the time."

Holsinger said his biggest concern is recruiting employees. Besides a program director, the facility will need two part-timers and six full-time employees. Holsinger said labor is tight in Carbon County and that was one of the struggles of the previous provider.

"We're bringing in competitive wages. We're hoping that our reputation as being an organization that really invests significantly in its team members and one that follows a model of servant leadership is going to be attractive to people," said Holsinger.

VOA is already in the process of interviewing for a program director and they will host hiring events on January 20 and the 21 for the other positions. Holsinger emphasized that they are looking for passionate workers who care about children.

"Because on any given night, you have eight youth in that home that are unrelated, and all come from different backgrounds. And imagine if I put those in your home for one night and said, 'Here care for them'. You know, what would it be like? And so you have to have a lot of structure, you have to have a lot of opportunities for youth to express themselves appropriately," said Holsinger. "But you also have to have a lot of supervision to ensure their safety, as well as public safety. And so those are the priorities that we're going to come in with."

Carbon County has committed $200,000 and the city of Rawlins has committed $25,000 annually for the next five years to keep the center open. VOA will soon start fundraising efforts to offset other future expenses.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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