Homeless Children In Texoma

Tragically the number of youth without a permanent and safe place to call home is on the rise.
Something many may not even realize is happening in Wichita County.

Children's Aid Society Executive Director, Sheila Catron Choate, said homeless teens in the Texoma area go house, to house, to house just looking for a place to sleep.  But tragically many times that space comes with a cost.

"Eventually there is going to be a price for their bed space. And unfortunately children especially older adolescence's and teens are sexually exploited," said Choate.

It's also something that's not going away. Choate said sexual abuse is at an all time high.

"With access to inappropriate things like pornography and such on the Internet, that's only increased the prevalent of childhood sexual abuse," said Choate.

The downed economy is also putting a  burden on families, which has the home seeing a rise in young people needing help.

Choate says, "They are living from friends home to friends home, relative to relative, and then they finally wind up in there car or in shelters."

Sheila says one issue is that usually families in need, aren't taking advantage of resources available to get them back on track. Like, access to housing and employment.
With kids as young as 17 months, to 17-years old relying on the shelters help, your donations Texoma are at times crucial to keeping open, the only true home some of these kids have ever known.
Program Director Lisa Choate says when you have a safe place to stay, 3 square meals a day, and the security that when your sleeping no one will hurt you it's amazing the difference you see.   
To donate gently used items, time, even a monetary gift to the shelter just give them a call at (940) 322-3141 or just stop by.
The Children's Aid Society is located at 1101 30th Street in Wichita Falls.

The home is in need of everything from volunteers, toys, winter clothes, and even food.
Something else that may seem simple, is to donate your kids Halloween costume. Choate says the children at the home  would love to use those items to play dress up.
Choate also compared donated toys to the ones in the Toy Story movie. Saying the out-grown toys are loved and played with by a new set of kids when they are brought to the home. Something that can put a smile on a child's face when they generously agree to give them to others.