May 24, 2021
SIOUX CITY, IOWA—Prayers are being requested as the Crittenton Center Emergency Shelter in Northwest Iowa will be closing its doors due to a lack of staffing. It is the area’s only Emergency Shelter that served approximately 300 kids annually from South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.
“This means that all the kids in this center will be quickly placed into yet another facility, home, or family—in and outside of Sioux City,” says Karl Van Cura, Executive Director for YFC Siouxland. “We can really use your prayers.
“YFC is working to ensure these kids have a loving send-off to their new placements,” said Van Cura. “YFC staff immediately reached out to our other partnerships with Sunnybrook Community Church and Woodbury County Juvenile Courts to help with the transition. Their response has been tremendous—we are very grateful.”
Recently, YFC Siouxland, a local chapter of Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net), was invited to develop trusting relationships with the Crittenton Center staff. This trust quickly evolved into an invitation into their facility to come alongside their staff to develop relationships with these unforgotten and challenging youth, who constantly feel unloved, unwanted, rejected.
Youth end up at Crittenton Center for a variety of reasons, including: failed adoptions, abuse, neglect, family problems, parents who have been arrested, homes that are red tagged, some lose foster care placement or have ungovernable behavior, and some are simply left there.
YFC staff have been able to bring joy, worth and purpose into the lives of these teenagers. This trusting relationship has evolved into more access with the youth by allowing the teens to visit one night per week off-site at YFC’s City Life Teen Center. And since then, doors opened for YFC to enter the youths’ Cluster Site homes, which make up offsite home-like shelters for youth who can go to school or work, providing a more home-like environment than an institutional one.
Sunnybrook Church is providing suitcases, box lunches and dinners for moving day, as well as care packages for the kids with personal hygiene and supplies they may need. And, through a collaboration between Woodbury County Juvenile Courts, Crittenton Center, and YFC, Shelli Rawson, YFC Siouxland’s Juvenile Justice Ministry Director, will be attending an 8-hour at-risk youth behavioral issues training in Omaha this month… at no expense to YFC. She has also been invited by Crittenton Center to train their Emergency Shelter staff for them to reopen.
“God is moving on behalf of these kids,” says Van Cura. “They need your prayers of protection!”
Van Cura continued, “Please join us in praying as we continue to walk with the Crittenton Center staff and kids. Pray for these kids who have real stories of abuse, trauma, neglect, constant upheaval and disruption in their lives. Pray they don’t take this on themselves, that they’re the “bad kids” and they deserve this.”
Youth For Christ haschapters impacting thousands of communities across the nation that seek out and serve youth from all walks of life. Many teens are silently struggling through a variety of challenging issues—and now they see the living power of a loving God.
YFC encourages staff and volunteers to be good news while also sharing the stories of the Good News of Jesus. It involves building relationships through the ups and downs of everyday life in order to lead people to Christ.
YFC has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944, when the Rev. Billy Graham served as YFC’s first full-time staff member. Since then, Youth For Christ has continued to be both a rural and urban ministry on mission, and it is always about the message of Jesus. YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ, and commitment to social involvement. Youth For Christ operates in over 100 nations and has more than 160 chapters that impact communities across America.
To interview a Youth For Christ representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.