We are delighted to announce our 2019 partnership with Roy Maas Youth Alternatives. Fifteen percent of our ticket sales will be donated to this local charity.
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Read more about RMYA here:
For over 42 years, RMYA has been helping children navigate the trauma of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. While our agency has grown from one emergency shelter to numerous programs and services over two campuses, the problem of child abuse has not lessened. In fact, partially due to efforts of agencies like RMYA, attention on this problem means more children are identified as needing our help to recover from violence. Additionally, the Texas foster care system is in crisis.
Foster home shortages, Residential Treatment Center closures, overwhelming social worker caseloads, and high caseworker turnover rates are leaving thousands of abused, neglected, and abandoned children without stability, and in the worst cases, without shelter. The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has had to house children in offices and motels, adding to the uncertainty and anxiety of the children’s lives. So-called “children without placement” and “Temporary Emergency Placement” children are commonly those who have the most severe emotional and behavioral needs, have not had success in previous settings, and/or have histories of running away.
These difficult-to-place children need high-levels of support and wrap-around services, to help them cope with the trauma they have endured in order to begin the process of healing. Currently RMYA is one of only two facilities in Texas taking these children.
Our programs include:
- the Bridge and La Puerta (opening soon) Emergency Shelters: 24-hr. care for up to 38 children;
- Centro Seguro Drop-In Center: 24-hr. Drop-In Center for children at-risk or victims of trafficking;
- TurningPoint Transitional Living Program: counseling/residential/life skills for homeless young adults;
- Family Counseling & Resource Center: child & family counseling, child & adolescent psychiatric services, parenting classes, and family resource case management;
- Meadowland (in Boerne, Texas): long-term residential and therapeutic care for children with severe emotional/behavioral problems;
- Meadowland Charter District: two charter schools for at-risk youth in grades 1-12;
- We are the licensed National Safe Place provider for Bexar County.
Numbers of children staying at our Bridge Emergency shelter have steadily increased. Between FY2017 and FY2018, we saw an 84% increase in children staying at least one night at the Bridge. At the request of the Governor’s office, we have expanded emergency services to include a second emergency shelter for children; La Puerta Emergency Shelter will open by early February of 2019. With two emergency shelters, and the Centro Seguro Drop-In Center which opened in October 2017, we expect our San Antonio emergency & drop-in services to care for nearly 800 children in FY2019. Add another 50 young adults served through our transitional living program every year and over 600 community children and their families receiving counseling services, and you have nearly 1,500 children and young adults needing services just in San Antonio. Our Boerne campus serves over 100 children a year in our long-term residential program.
More than 82,000 children and families in the San Antonio area have received help since we opened our doors in 1976. RMYA’s programs serve high-risk youth with anxiety disorders, mental health issues, PTSD from abuse and exposure to violent crime, learning disabilities, and other severe emotional and behavioral issues. We serve homeless youth, current and former foster care youth, LGBTQ youth, and children who are victims of sex trafficking. Our client population is approximately 14% African American, 24% Caucasian, 60% Hispanic, and 2% other, and 54% male, 46% female. At least 90% of our population is on Medicaid or eligible for Medicaid. Children served by RMYA programs come from chaotic, unpredictable environments with inconsistent discipline and care. Most have a history of abuse, and serious behavioral and emotional problems. They are often medically at-risk due to poor prenatal care, maternal substance abuse, erratic past medical care, and physical abuse and neglect.
Most of the children in our programs are victims of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or neglect, and most are wards of the State (TDFPS or various juvenile probation departments). Children come to us with a variety of special needs. Many are delayed academically. Residents at the Bridge Emergency Shelter are 5 to 17 years old; most are from Bexar County. In FY 2018, 422 children lived at the Bridge, while waiting for a more permanent placement. This could mean returning to their parents with family counseling, going to live with other relatives, or being placed in a foster family setting or a residential treatment program if they need extensive therapy. It is crucial that their needs be met as quickly as possible so they can heal and overcome the trauma they’ve endured.