Guest editorial: Children’s Justice Center needs our support |

Guest editorial: Children’s Justice Center needs our support

Ray Freer
Park City

ALL HAIL, Park City!

We have so much for which to be thankful, particularly related to needed social services. We have the Children’s Justice Center that is the first step in helping people under 18 who have experienced abuse, whether physical, emotional or sexual. Those people are referred to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office or the Park City Police Department. Next the various service agencies come into play. Those are the People’s Health Clinic where uninsured people are provided health care related services. That assistance relies upon pro bono physicians who are quite wonderful in their service to patients and our community. We have the Peace House which provides emergency services to people who have experienced abuse. Its new facility can serve eight emergency victims and their families, typically children, as well as provide transitional housing for 12 victims and their families that can extend from six months to two years. The emergency piece is obvious in what it does but the transitional housing will enable people who have suffered abuse the opportunity to reconstruct their lives. The 20 units are designed in such a way as to be able to accommodate up to 60 people. Then we have the Christian Center of Park City that provides assistance at so many levels meeting immediate basic needs and providing mental health counseling. Although it doesn’t directly provide services, we are blessed to have the Park City Community Foundation providing guidance and focus as well as assisting in securing funding for these entities. Finally we have Park City Hospital which is so important to our overall community fabric.

What I find remarkable is that these entities seem to act together seamlessly and without turf wars. While each of their respective missions is somewhat unique, all are motivated to assist people in need. They also help our Latino community which represents about 20% of our population.

Each of these entities has its own up-to-date facilities, except for one. The Children’s Justice Center is in the last stage of a capital campaign to raise funds to complete its new facility. Currently our young people must go to the Richins Building in the Kimball Junction area where they have limited anonymity and privacy. The new facility will be efficient and designed in such a way that the young people it serves will be less intimidated by the process. In addition, it will have the necessary space to provide longer term counseling to overcome some of the residual effects of abuse. The Children’s Justice Center needs $450,000 by Oct. 15 to complete the acquisition and improvements of its new facility. If you donated to secure open lands through Summit Land Conservancy or take care of man’s best friends through Nuzzles, both commendable causes, then you might feel compelled to donate to the Children’s Justice Center. It protects our most valuable and vulnerable asset, our children. So, DONATE!

You can contact the Children’s Justice Center at 435-615-3910 and its executive director, Ted Walker.

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