Class Notes: Youth Resource Center a sensational resource for area youth

JOE LANDON

It’s always nice to see good people coming together for a cause, getting behind something that’s really important; but when it’s all about kids, community collaboration is an even better idea.

A perfect example of folks combining forces to put kids first can be found right here in Collier County with the opening of a brand new Youth Resource Center, now in place to address the needs of all youth, from those “at-risk” to those who are already on the right track in life.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office actually made this happen as the lead agency, doing so, though, with the help of a multi-agency partnership including the Collier County School District, the David Lawrence Center, Department of Juvenile Justice, Drug Free Collier, Florida Department of Children and Families, and Lutheran Services of Florida.

The Youth Resource Center is physically located in the Collier County Courthouse on U.S. 41 at Airport-Pulling Road in East Naples. That spot was chosen to make the use of the center as convenient as possible for families who are directed by the court to get help with various family issues.

“We want parents in Collier County to have a secure place to come if they need assistance,” said Sheriff Kevin Rambosk. “We want to become the hub for information, referrals, and ultimately, activities for young people.”

The Youth Resource Center deals with all sorts of things like delinquency, truancy and dependency. In addition to juvenile assessments, services include individual and group counseling, substance abuse counseling and education and drug testing, anger management and crisis intervention training, parenting classes and parent support groups, mentoring services, athletic activities, an after-school program, 24-hour hotline, and meeting space — all services focused on kids.

Now the Sheriff’s Office tells us this is all being made possible with no additional cost to us, as taxpayers. Learn more by sending an e-mail to youthresourcecenter@colliersheriff.org or by calling 252-0900. And the sheriff will talk about the center on the District Digest TV show, on at 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, beginning Monday on the Education Channel, Comcast cable 99.

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