Rapid City, S.D. – Abbott House will receive $18,000 through a partnership with the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, the John T. Vucurevich Foundation and the United Way of the Black Hills to assist with costs directly tied to increased needs with COVID-19.
Expenses due to COVID-19 have well exceeded $10,000 at the Bridges by Abbott House foster homes in Rapid City. In addition to cleaning and sanitization supplies, increased food costs, hygiene products and technology needs have stretched foster home budgets beyond their limits.
“Feeding children three meals a day and snacks, which are normally supported through the school breakfast and lunch programs, has caused more than a 20% increase in food budgets in our program,” Eric Klooz, executive director of the Abbott House said. “In addition, we have been operating over capacity in each of our foster homes, so computer access to complete school assignments has been extremely challenging for our families. This support will help out tremendously as we begin opening two new foster homes and independent living apartments.”
A joint funding effort by the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, the John T. Vucurevich Foundation and the United Way of the Black Hills will bring technology to children and young adults in the Bridges by Abbott House foster homes. Access to technology in these homes is necessary for tele-health and education, especially when the young people are studying at home due to school shutdowns caused by COVID-19.
“Abbott House children have been extremely blessed by the Rapid City community and all of the funding organizations within the Black Hills area,” Klooz said. “Because of this ongoing collaborative support, Abbott House will be providing homes, families and support for more than 60 young people in the Black Hills by the end of 2020.”
Abbott House provides residential treatment services for girls ages 7 to 17 who have suffered trauma and abuse. Children come to Abbott House with physical and emotional scars and the tragic burden of being disregarded. Without help, many of these young children perpetuate the cycle of violence and punish themselves indefinitely for the tragedy that was placed on their shoulders. In 2002 Abbott House began providing therapeutic foster care for children ages 10 to 17. The Bridges therapeutic foster care program was expanded in Mitchell in 2013-2014. Then in 2016-2017, two therapeutic foster homes were opened in the Black Hills region and served approximately 45 foster youth annually. For more information about Abbott House, please contact Eric Klooz or Virginia Wishard Lambert at (605) 996-2486.