Austin, Texas – The Austin Children’s Shelter (ACS) is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a major grant from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) for the third consecutive year. The grant of $125,000 supports the Shelter’s S.A.F.E. program to provide basic care services for abused and neglected children in its care. Costs to provide this care continue to increase and this critical support affords ACS the ability to provide a higher quality of care and services these children need. Most of the children entrusted to the Shelter arrive with severe injuries, emotional challenges or self-destructive or aggressive behavior as a result of abuse and/or neglect. Proper care for these children require not only more one-on-one staff supervision, but higher levels of staff skills and experience to ensure the care and safety of the children.
Children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment, are in need of a safe haven and basic needs first and foremost. Through the S.A.F.E. program, ACS focuses on providing the most basic needs of Shelter, Apparel, Food and an Environment that is secure – a program that allows the children in our care to begin to feel safe. Austin Children’s Shelter provides a homelike environment with 24-hour supervised care, balanced meals, healthy snacks and nutritional supplements appropriate for each age as well as clothing and personal care items for every child.
“When children enter the Austin Children’s Shelter, they are in a state of crisis, but the shelter’s work is showing real results,” said Janet Mountain, executive director of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “The shelter addresses immediate needs through counseling and medical care. But statistics also show that 75 percent of the children who stay in the shelter for 30 days or more — which many of them do — demonstrate improvement in their behavioral and physical conditions, developmental progress, social skills and overall safety and well being. We are happy to provide this additional grant so the Austin Children’s Shelter can continue its good work and provide area children in crisis with a safe and positive environment.”
“In order to meet the in-depth needs of the children we serve, we must rely on community support to supplement public funding,” states ACS Executive Director Gena VanOsselaer. “We are deeply grateful to the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation for their dedication to Austin’s children and their support of the Austin Children’s Shelter.”
The Austin Children’s Shelter provides emergency shelter, high quality care and hope for the future to the abandoned, abused and neglected children of our community. ACS is a non-profit organization that has provided emergency shelter and critical services to children who have been removed from their homes since 1984. The Shelter cares for up to 30 children at one time and serves more than 300 children each year. For more information, visit the web site at www.austinchildrenshelter.org.
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation was established in 1999 by the Dell family to improve outcomes for under-served children in a measurable way. Based in Austin,Texas, the Foundation funds programs that foster and improve the education, health and safety of children around the world. With an endowment of more than $1 billion, the Foundation has committed more than $185 million to children’s and community initiatives to date.