- Special Sections
The Panhandle Services for Children officially has emergency shelter available for children and have many needs for donation for those willing to help in the Panhandle area.
Shelter Director, Darci Freeland lists some of the most desired donations. These include diapers and pull-ups of all sizes, baby wipes, car seats, portable cribs and mattresses, playpens, bottles, clothing sizes 6mo. - 10/12, and duffle bags or backpacks.
Other needs include underwear for ages eight and under, band aids, liquid benedryl, liquid tylenol for infants or children, formula, baby food, sweatshirts and jackets size 10 and under as well as sleepers and pajamas, small or lap size blankets, pacifiers, toothbrushes and tooth paste, hairbrushes, body wash, shampoo deodorant, crackers, cup-a-noodle soups, instant mac and cheese or similar foods, school supplies, and laundry soap. The bathroom products can be travel or regular size. Any of these are appreciated.
As well as these donations, the Panhandle area is seeking more Host Homes needed for the area. Host Homes help provide care for children who are in need of temporary, emergency shelter.
âWe have a shelter facility that is on 4th St. but its doors are not open for children to enter into the facility,â said Freeland. âBy the end of 2013, the state has mandated that children under the age of six cannot be placed in a shelter facility like that. They have to be in a home.â
These children may be in the stateâs custody because their home is not a safe place, or the childâs primary caregiver is unable to care for the child due to an accident or illness. Others may have run away from home or have been pushed out due to changes in their family.
Host Homes provide lodging, supervision, food, some transportation, and other support services for children receiving emergency shelter. Panhandle Services for Children staff members work with Host Home families to provide counseling and coordination of services for children receiving emergency shelter.
âSome people interested may not know that they can both work, so they may want to figure that out and how the process works, and know about the children coming in,â said Freeland.
The closest shelter for children as of late has been in Altus, which is 496 miles roundtrip. The convenience of having shelter and homes in the panhandle for children will benefit them by keeping them in their area, possibly keeping them in their school district, and save on money that is needed to transport them to a different city.
âWe have just started the process, so we have some (homes) in Guymon and Texhoma right now,â said Freeland. âWe are in desperate need of other towns in the Panhandle.â
Host Homes are reimbursed some for food and basic care needs for the child. Host parents will have many trainings and will have placements of children that best suits their lifestyle needs.
âThe bigger variety we have of Host Homes, then the more children we can accommodate,â said Freeland.
Freeland said it would be great to have homes available in Goodwell and in Hooker, especially because of the children from the detention center. She also stressed the fact that there is a need for homes in the other counties of the Panhandle that would benefit children that are needing this type of care.
âIt is a very good thing for this area,â said Freeland.
For those interested in donating to the shelter, are interested in becoming Host Parents, or have any questions, contact Darci Freeland at Panhandle Services for Children at 580-338-7082 or email her at email@example.com for more information.