|Published:||Nov 26, 2012 6:02 PM EST|
|Updated:||Nov 26, 2012 6:06 PM EST|
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - A program that works with troubled teen boys is set to re-open next month.
Crossroads was forced to close it's Charlotte County doors this past summer. Now, the Department of Children and Families is taking over with expanded services.
Construction crews are putting the finishing touches on new living quarters for troubled teens. Call it a second chance for Executive Director John Davidson and Crossroads to help these kids turn their lives around
"They don't have a lot of options," he says.
Over the summer, the facility lost it's funding from the Department of Juvenile Justice.
"I'd be lying if there wasn't a little bit of panic with what are we going to do... we've been in this county for 26 years," he adds.
Immediately, Davidson and his 30 staffers started looking at plan B. Operating Crossroads under DCF to provide not only discipline but also foster care.
"When you're talking about kids who have been in multiple placements over multiple years because of behavioral and possible charges they've had, nobody wants them... we know how to do that, that's what we're built for so its a perfect fit really," he says.
In order to bridge that relationship, DCF requires individual and small group bedrooms. It's a change from the barracks style crossroads had before.
It will house 24 instead of 35 boys putting them through mentoring and vocational programs like auto shop and carpentry.
"New opportunity come out of something that looked pretty bleak for a period of time... were taking the lemons and making some pretty darn good lemonade," says Lee Swift with the Board of Directors.
There will be a public ribbon cutting on December 1st. Leaders hope to start moving kids in before Christmas.