Letter: YouthZone invests in our children, and does so wisely
When it comes to our kids, we can all agree that there is no better investment. That’s why it is so critically important to support local nonprofit organizations like YouthZone, which not only invests in our children, but does so wisely.
Over the course of its 40 years in our valley, YouthZone has figured out how to spend $1,500 of dedicated programming on a troubled youth correcting the same problem that usually costs $60,000 to correct in a facility for the same amount of time. YouthZone has also proven to have a more positive outcome on the youth, and research shows that less than one in 10 YouthZone clients reoffend during his or her time with YouthZone, compared to the state recidivism rate of more than 25 percent. Numbers like this make it easy to understand why we as a community need to support YouthZone in its current move to a permanent, flexible, and community-oriented space in the former Glenwood Springs Library.
Right now, YouthZone is only renovating the space it immediately needs so it can remain fiscally responsible. But as the only agency that intervenes in the local juvenile justice system it is important to raise more funds for YouthZone to expand and refine its programming.
As a father of four kids, I see how tough growing up can be even in our beautiful mountain communities. I urge you to consider making a donation to YouthZone to help this stellar nonprofit continue its most important mission.
Hollis E. Kelley, Jr.
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