A RESPITE FOR TROUBLED CHILDREN
SUMMARY OF PROGRAM
The Sanctuary Project, started in the 1970s, was designed to provide for the educational, emotional, spiritual
and social needs of all ages of young children/adolescents who were having difficulty adapting to society's norms. It was
envisioned that the project would provide for the needs of these children in a home environment. It was anticipated that these
young people would learn very concrete skills to assist their passages in society as well as more abstract concepts such as
respect for and kindness to others; respect for themselves; concern and compassion for others; and monitoring personal growth
and development. They also would learn about the personal changes that were going on during the difficult ages of puberty
and strategies for dealing with these changes.
Ideally the target market consists of boys and girls between the ages of 9-18, who are considered at risk:
at school and with law enforcement. This market is in a very volatile state of development, and needs among other things,
adult supervision. Over half of the people in the target market are being raised in single female-headed homes. This program
was designed to assist single parents by: picking up and keeping the young people at Sanctuary after school; taking them to
doctors appointments when the parent could not; providing recreational and educational activities; looking for runaways who
parents knew they would be coming to the Sanctuary; mediation between parent and child in crisis situations; and extreme cases,
interfacing with the Department of Human Resources to temporarily place children at the Sanctuary who were in critical situations.
This type of project does not measure success/failure as one would expect. A success could be that a child
did not get in trouble at school that day. This behavior is rewarded, while minimal time is spent on the negative behavior.
An age-specific behavior modification plan is used and is altered to fit each child's need. For example, if a young man calls
a young woman out of her name, he must write an essay about why this behavior is inappropriate. The essay must be at least
two paragraphs. Then if they are at Sanctuary at the same time, he must do her a kindness and make amends. This not only teaches
better oral and written skills, it also makes the person aware that his behavior must be modified to be a part of the Sanctuary
and society at large.
More objective success/failures are determined in the short run and the long run. For example, a few of
the young men who have graced this home have gone on to become ministers, counselors at boys and girls clubs, and teachers.
One young woman decided to return to high school; and one young lady decided not to have an abortion. Two young people got
their GED, and two more are studying for the GED exam. Some of the young men and women have been repeat offenders in the correctional
institutions; one was given counseling because he was HIV-positive.
For the past ten years, this project primarily has been funded strictly from donations from parents, churches,
concerned people in the community, fundraisers and the Coordinator's personal resources. Since the Coordinator has been placed
on disability, the resources for this project have become very limited. It is for this reason that the Sanctuary Project is
requesting funds from various organizations to help meet the goals and objectives of this project, while expanding the project
to include parenting workshops for teenage parents, a cooking class, and etiquette.
This belongs to a good friend of mine.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
SANCTUARY is a project which was started in the 1970s to give young people of all ages a place to learn,
have fun, and just "be." Due to the pressures placed on parents and children in this hurried life, the project was designed
also to: assist parents in some of the duties for which they had little or no time, i.e., doctors' appointments; getting to
little league games; intervening on behalf of the parent if child was having a problem at school; providing a safe haven for
children when their parents had to go out of town, etc. It was envisioned that this home for "troubled children" would serve
the educational, emotional, spiritual and social needs of the children/adolescents. "Troubled children" is defined as those
boys and girls who are at risk in school and face law enforcement issues.
The structure of the project is a more informal presentation in a family setting. My background as a University
professor, who majored in Sociology, Adolescent and Social Psychology, Marriage and Family and Business Administration uniquely
qualified me to help these young people through the passages of adolescence and early adulthood.