WEST FRANKFORT, IL (KFVS) - Kids who are in abusive homes do have a safe place to go to in southern Illinois.
Three years ago The Night's Shield program in West Frankfort received their first children.
"What we do at the shelter is we take in children that are in an emergency situation,"said Sarah Bond, vice-president of the Night's Shield Board. "They're in a crisis situation. They've been removed from their homes for neglect, abuse or abandonment."
The program is the only one in the State of Illinois that takes in all the kids from a bad home and keeps them together throughout, even through going to a foster home.
"I can't imagine losing my parents, my home everything I had and each other. So I felt that for these kids to lose each other that, that was totally unacceptable,"said Bond. "And I felt if they could be together through the crisis that it would only make them stronger."
The Night's Shield is housed in The Roan Center, and they take in kids as young as days old to 18 years old.
They're looking to expand the program to offer the kids more skills they'll need to get on with their lives after they turn eighteen.
"We want to build a gymnasium. We do have a playground but that tends to be used more by the smaller kids. We want someplace where the teens can hang out and go be themselves. Then we want to build a pavilion for backyard picnics and to celebrate birthdays," Bond said.
"And we want to get the older kids into transitional housing. We've noticed that these kids especially teenagers, when they're getting out of the system they don't seem to have the life skills training that they need. If we can teach them these skills when they age out of the system they can take care of themselves."
If you'd like to know more about The Night's Shield program you can go to their website at: www.thenightsshield.org