By Mike Cook
Las Cruces Bulletin
LAS CRUCES – Families and Youth, Inc. of Las Cruces’ new emergency youth shelter is called My Friend’s Place.
A Feb. 28 grand opening for the 16-bed, co-ed facility at 880 E. Idaho Ave. replaced the shelter that closed in 2017.
“My Friends Place Emergency Youth Shelter helps address the immediate safety and care needs of homeless, runaway, system-involved and otherwise at-risk youth ages 12-17 in a safe, nurturing and structured environment,” FYI said. Youth can stay at the shelter for up to 90 days as FYI works to reunite them with their families or identify alternative housing arrangements.
“This is a very exciting day,” Marci Dickerson said at the grand opening. Dickerson is founder of Revolution 120, the Las Cruces nonprofit that raised more than $25,000 for the shelter’s re-opening.
Dickerson said City Manager Stuart Ed and Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Greg Ewing both contacted her in January 2018 about the need to reopen the shelter.
“Two boys were living in a vehicle,” she recalled.
Despite “roadblocks, barriers and bumps,” FYI Executive Director Brian Kavanaugh said, “we knocked it down and we kept on going. The shelter is rooted in the passion, love and support of our community and our kids. That’s what we stand behind and that’s what drives us forward.”
In addition to Revolution 120, Kavanaugh cited major shelter supporters Wanda Bowman and Ashley Furniture, and James Evans and EROD Construction.
FYI staff “made this vision become a reality,” Kavanaugh said.
Kavanaugh said FYI hopes a second shelter can be opened to allow separate facilities for boys and girls.
FYI welcomes donations for the shelter. The wish list includes household supplies, toiletries, sports equipment, games and other recreational materials and clothing.
For more information, contact Shelter Manager Lindsey Davis at 575-556-1604 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Cook may be contacted at email@example.com.