DES MOINES, Iowa — Youth Emergency Services and Shelter serves more than 1,000 children ever year. It’s the largest youth shelter and only crisis nursery of its kind in Iowa, and soon it will be able to help even more children.
The shelter is wrapping up its two-story addition. The $4.2 million addition includes 32 additional single bedrooms, more classrooms, and four times the amount of space for therapy; including a music therapy studio and art therapy space.
With the addition YESS will be able to house 92 children. Every year, Stephen Quirk says the need for more rooms grows. Quirk says there are many reasons for the increase including: state facilities closing, more families struggling, and an increase in children committing crimes.
“But we also notice the mental health conditions of the children and the community. There’s lots of kids that are struggling. Sometimes getting them out of the home for a short amount of time and getting them to a place like YESS whether it’s for just a few days or maybe a month can provide the necessary respite to get them back in a position where they can go home,” said Quirk.