Ozark, AL - Over the past three years, the Ozark-Dale County Family Services Center has helped over 400 kids in the area. It may come to a screeching halt.
“It will be a significant loss to the community. Not only for the children, but also for the parents,” said Dale County Chief Probation Officer, Tabitha Brannon.
The center’s director, Jeremy Varney, learned they would not be receiving the $15,000 grant from the Children’s Trust Fund this year. Now they will be forced to operate on a $10,000 budget. That barely covers the operating costs.
“We are just using almost every dollar that goes into this program into the family resource center right into the programs to go right back into the community,” said Varney.
Leaders say no donation is too small. For example, their most costly, but effective program costs them $100 per family, when their budget is cut by more than half they’ll use every donation they can get.
If they can’t find the money, the center will be closed by the first of next year. That could be detrimental to the area youth.
“If the family resource center does close then we will not have any available options. We will have to send kids out of county to get those services,” said Brannon.
“With parents that have nowhere else to go. When they have a kid that’s maybe not broken a law, but they’re just really hard to deal with. They’re just that strong willed child that normal parenting techniques don’t work. Eventually, what will happen is those kids will wind up in the juvenile court system,” said Varney.
No one wants that, but leaders say it will take the community’s support to help kids get back on the right track.
Should you need further information please contact Jeremy Varner, Family Services Center Director at 334-201-8435 .