We will construct and operate a youth shelter to serve at-risk children between eight and twelve years of age on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Considered underserved by the existing OST Youth Shelter (for ages 12-18), youth in this age group are harder to place than older teens. This target population is comprised of youth involved in suicide attempts, truancy, drug/alcohol abuse, and violence, who typically come from multiple living situations due to parental problems.
The shelter will serve eight children (four girls and four boys) at one time, providing emergency housing for a period of up to 15 days. The 3,300 square foot shelter will provide comfortable spaces to sleep, eat, study, and recreate for the youth as well as office and administrative spaces to aid in counseling, life skills training, and reuniting the children with permanent home. The Thunder Valley Youth Shelter will fulfill Pine Ridge Indian Reservation’s need to care for this valuable age group.
Youth shelter design utilizes a southern orientation to maximize passive solar heat gain during the winter, shading devices during the summer, and sheltered outdoor spaces to protect against the prevailing winds. Residential sleeping areas are built to be tornado resistant.
Our goal for the shelter is to reunite children with their families when possible through family restoration counseling and time dedicated to resolving the issues in the home.