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Shelter for homeless teens seeks donations, sponsors for new, bigger facility

April 25, 2012|by Ashley Reynolds, KY3 News | areynolds@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A shelter for homeless teenagers is moving to a bigger, better location in about a month.  Administrators of Rare Breed say, however, the organization still needs help of volunteers from churches and other groups, as well as individuals.

The number of teens who go to Rare Breed continues to increase.  Nearly 100 teens each night now depend on its present space at 215 S. Campbell Ave. near College Street.  Sometimes the staff has to turn teens away because they don't have the space.

The new building on Main Avenue near Mill Street is twice the size of the current facility.  Organizers hope people will give so more homeless teens will have a place to call home.

“This will be a dining area.  We don't really have a kitchen and dining area in the old center, so we are very excited,” said  Loni Brewer, with Rare Breed during a tour of the new facility.

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The dream is becoming a reality.

“All of our staff have shed tears of joy at this point,” said Brewer.

The building on Main known as the old Train Depot has a long way to go before it feels like a home for those who need a home the most.

“We cannot do all of this by ourselves,” said Brewer.

Organizers want to get the word out they still need help.

Leaders have the dream of building a gym, art room and a music room.

“It's really important for them to identify things that they are good at, that they may have never had the opportunity to do,” said Brewer.

Teens will also be able to take GED classes here and improve their computer skills.

“It means a lot to me because I was once homeless,” said Marquis Paden.

Paden knows all too well what it means to be homeless.  He used to live on the streets.

“It was stressful.  You had your guard up every time. You didn't know what was to come or how you were going to eat,” said Paden.

“If it wasn't for Rare Breed, where would you be today?” a reporter asked.
“I'd be in jail or dead,” he said.

Those are strong words from a young man who now has his life ahead of him, thanks to the Rare Breed.

“I hope to be somebody that can change the world,” said Paden.

Even if you can't be a sponsor, organizers say they could use about anything: old TVs, sports equipment and paint.  They have a wish list, which is attached here in the left column.

They could really use volunteers.  They only have a staff of five people to help nearly 100 kids.

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