The year 2020 found the Friends of Long Creek dealing with some new challenges and seeking new ways to fulfill our mission to assist youth in the criminal justice system.
The Friends was founded more than two decades ago when the facility’s population was over 200.
That number continues to decrease, a welcome development resulting from continuing efforts to divert kids after their early contacts with the juvenile justice system.
With these changes, The Friends have increased our efforts to use funds to assist young people transitioning out of the facility and working with the juvenile probation officers to fund their activities with kids on the outside.
The catastrophic pandemic of COVID-19 has also brought a very difficult challenge for those living and working at the facility. The many Friends members who, until March, spent significant time volunteering and working with the young people at Long Creek.
It is disheartening and unavoidable that we have had to curtail those efforts, but the need to maintain maximum safety is paramount. We are continuing to fund activities for the residents, such as several barbecues this summer. We have provided funds for the staff to furnish a quiet room where the kids can go to get away from the stresses that exist in the units. This quiet room is one way that staff at Long Creek has risen this latest challenge by finding creative ways to help the kids in the facility. We will continue to look for projects like this.
As always, we could not continue any of this work without the help of those who support our mission. Thank you.