Night's Shield plans to launch new crisis program in next month - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Night's Shield plans to launch new crisis program in next month

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WEST FRANKFORT -- A trusted Franklin County children's crisis center plans to re-open it's doors next month. The Night's Shield in West Frankfort will launch a 6-month pilot program, after breaking ties with the state of Illinois.

In a short testimonial on their Facebook page, a young man shares how the Night's Shield Crisis Nursery in West Frankfort changed his life.

"We are aware of the challenges that many in Southern Illinois face so we're just trying to do what we can to help," said family advocate Dane Johns. 

Johns says many other children have benefited from the program too. After cutting ties with Illinois in October, managers here shut down to re-examine Night's Shield's mission.

"We're just trying to restructure the program in general so that we can still help families and still be there to support families that are in need, that are in crisis, provide the shelter for the kids whenever something comes up," said executive director Lindsey Bullman.  

Bullman and the remaining staff plan to continue running a shelter for children in need and add support services for families. But they'll have to do that on half the budget, using money from reserves, and donations. Right now, the program needs a way to transport it's kids.

"We are hoping to get a vehicle donated to us because we do know that transportation is a big barrier for placement. Some families that we may be serving may be as far as Carbondale or even further out," said Johns. 

Bullman says, Night's Shield will no longer impose income guidelines and will provide shelter for kids only and support for families dealing with any type of crisis. 

"It can be a loss of job, needing help paying their electric bill until their electric gets turned back on, maybe they need a warm place for their child to stay at night, mental health issues, substance abuse issues," said Bullman. 

Bullman hopes the new mission will relieve stress from parents, while providing structure, support and normalcy for children from birth to age 17.

Next week, Bullman will bring back 10 of the 19-people that were laid, for training. She says they are also looking for volunteers.

The new program is set to launch January 3.

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