Abbott House gets ready to open it’s doors to foster care children, through the Bridges Program

The first of 2 new Black Hills Bridges by Abbott House foster homes will be opening next month to children who need the extra support in transitioning their lives.

The Abbott House is a social service agency in South Dakota, serving children in their residential treatment programs. They began in Mitchell over 80 years ago and since 2016, have made an outreach in Rapid City.

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

The success of the Abbott House treatment programs in initiating trauma therapy for children paved the way for their Bridges Program, which essentially is bridging the gap for children who are transiting out of a residential placement and need extra support into the next phase of life and have nowhere to go. It’s a continuum for kids to continue their lives in a positive, family setting.

Eric Klooz, the Abbott House Executive Director, says, “They can get into a family situation, go to public school, experience life as any other kid would. And then the apartments are there for them if they need them as an opportunity to transition, so for a lot of our kids – they don’t have family or anyone who can help them transition in life so they might move into an apartment and go to college or get a job and just get going.”

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

The home has six bedrooms, this one is designated to serve girls. The other one being built and completed in January will serve boys. Each home also includes independent living apartments for supported living environments for youth 18 years and older.

The therapeutic family homes have foster parents living in the home full time and support services from the Abbott House. The kids get to be apart of family, receive counseling services and are taught life skills but also get to just be kids and play.

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

Helen Usera, Development Director, says,  “Our children want to be in a regular family, they want to be a part of their schools, they want to be apart of they school activities, and we are able to support that and the community have been tremendous. “

With 450 children in the Black Hills area who need foster care, The Abbott House new additions are helping to fill in the gaps.

Usera says, “There has been a lot of awareness of how do we impact children. I don’t know of any person who would say children don’t matter. Everybody sees the potential that a child has and this has become a topic, realizing that children all over out state are needing care. It’s an opportunity to really make a difference and you can.”

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

Abbott House staff also mentioned the overwhelming support from the Rapid City community of their mission.

The Abbott House is still $250,000 from their fundraising goal. Click here to learn more about the mission or how to donate.

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

Latest Abbott House Bridges Home, Rapid City

On a side note, Abbott House will receive $18,000 through a partnership with the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, the John T. Vucurevich Foundation and the United Way of the Black Hills to assist with costs directly tied to increased needs with COVID-19.

 

Categories: Local News