Youth Shelter Expansion Project Nears Completion

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- In just weeks, a Des Moines shelter will be able to help more kids in crisis.

Work is finishing up on Youth Emergency Services and Shelter's $4 million, 19-thousand-square foot addition.

YESS is adding four units, each of which has eight beds. That means the shelter will be able to house an additional 32 kids, making the total just over 90.

In addition to living space the shelter is adding recreation, classroom, and library space.

The CEO, Stephen Quirk, says every year the shelter serves between 800 and 1,000. Over the last few years, it's also had to turn away the same amount.

“You know Julie and I have had many nights we've gone home upset thinking there is a lot more kids that need our service but we have no space. We had 50 kids wake up here Christmas morning. So we want to make sure if a kid needs that space we are here for them,” says Quick. “I think the next chat we have if this place is full then this community needs to do some soul searching with what's going on and how we can create a fix for that.”

Quick says the shelter still needs to raise just over $1 million to finish paying for the project but he's confident the community will step up to help meet the needs.

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