Region 8 children's shelter helps Arkansas kids

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) – Almost a year ago the shelter was closed down after an anonymous tip was called in, later that same month they opened their doors back up for children.  Now they're going strong and helping keep children in need safe.

They can house up to 12 children.

"There is a definite, definite need for the shelter," said The Children's Shelter board member Judy Clark.

In the past year the shelter has housed 245 children from 22 counties across Arkansas.

"It's been an eventful year.  We've had a few rough spots," said Clark.

When children were removed from the shelter last year it was very difficult.

"You have a facility that has beds and you have children that need beds and you can't do it," said Clark.

Clark said it was a hard lesson to learn, but it has helped them learn how to protect their children and their employees.

"I want the whole area to be aware of the need of this shelter and to see us grow," said The Children's Shelter administrator Lisa Hufstedler.

New administrator Lisa Hufstedler said the kids get what they need while they're here, but they need help to provide it.

"The main thing that we really need all the time is money because it takes a lot of money to keep the shelter going," said Clark.

"It takes anywhere from fifteen to twenty thousand depending on the need," said Hufstedler.

They get $25 dollars a day per child that is in the shelter from the state, a boost from the $14 a day they were getting before.  Folks help out by donating food for the food pantry and clothing for the kids.  Clark said about 90% of the children who get emergency lodging come in with nothing and leave knowing someone cares.

"The kids that we serve and the kids that we see become a part of us.  We love those kids," said Hufstedler.

If you would like to help out with food, clothing or by making a monetary donation, you can contact The Children's Shelter at 870-886-5191.  You can also send your donations to:

The Children's Shelter
107 Benson Drive
Walnut Ridge, AR 72476

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