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Crestview Teen Center opens for Foster families

A new teen center in Okaloosa County is offering services to youth living in foster care and their foster parents.
   
The Crestview Teen Center is on Duggan Avenue in Crestview.
It used to be the location of the untied Methodist Children's Home.
   
The group home use to house 12 teens at a time. Now, it's being converted into a Teen Center hopefully helping those in foster care.
   
Those in charge of the center said over the  years referrals to the group home dwindled.
Because the state has decided to steer away from group homes and started cutting expenses.
   
"The Guru" as she called by the teens Mae Knox says leaving the group center behind and opening their doors to all teens in foster care from ages 13 to 22 will allow more help for the youth.
   
They are focusing on youth from Okaloosa and Walton counties.
 "And to me that's where most of the help is needed. There's that's where there is a lack of transportation and sometimes we will be making home visits just to asses what's going on in the home and what might be needed."
   
The center will offer many programs from how to budget money to preparing healthy foods.
 "It's not only helping youth identify not only where they want to be, but how they're going to get there and them give them some accountability and some assistance," said Kristin Alberda, Vice President of Programs.
   
The center will also have a storage closet. Offering food, clothes, hygiene products, and school supplies to those in foster care and their foster parents.

"We know that some of the youth we work with are going to be out on their own and still learning the budgeting process an so they may run out of money before the end of the month and maybe need some assistance with food and things like that," said Alberda.

For more information about the center you visit www.umch.net.