RMYA breaks ground on youth haven

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3103 West Avenue will now be the new home for a $1.25 million counseling resource center and shelter for abused, abandoned and troubled children by Roy Maas Youth Alternatives. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

The Roy Maas Youth Alternatives Counseling and Resource Center located on the city’s westside is making a  $1.25 million dollar improvement.

The center announced Monday they will use $750,000 from The Charity Ball Association (TCBA) and $500,000 from the Valero Energy Foundation to begin constructing an emergency shelter and counseling resources center  next door to their existing facility at 3103 West Avenue.

This facility will house 23 children who have been removed, abused or neglected at their home.

The new shelter will provide resources  including education, housing and professional counseling for those in need. Roy Maas Youth Alternatives CEO Bill Wilkinson was joined by president of The Charity Ball Association Helen Eversberg; Valero Energy Foundation Representative Sylvia Rodriguez; RMYA Board President John Roach; Texas State Senator Jose Menéndez (TX-26) and San Antonio Police Department Assistant Chief Anthony Trevino.

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State Senator Jose Menendez (TX-26) was one of the guests on-hand to discuss the importance of the RMYA mission. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

“This is going to have an appropriate accommodation and resident feel, a security that these kids need and deserve to go to outside and enjoy something as simple as the playground,” Wilkinson explained. “It’s not the overcrowding issue. What we really want to do is open our arms to young people who have been through a tough time.”

To aid in that mission, TCBA was on a mission to fund a project prepared to reduce the rate of child abuse in Texas. That is when they decided to choose RMYA as their candidate to take care of many young children who are going through turbulent times.

“In 2013, Bexar County had the second highest incidents of child abuse in the state of Texas,” Eversberg said. “We decided that was an important agenda to follow and Roy Mass itself has been taking care of children who have been victims of abuse or neglect or abandonment and the way they handled them, has never been anymore important.”

State Senator Menéndez (TX-26) reminded those in attendance that a stable home is not a given for many who will use the center. Instead, the new expansion will touch many lives for children who are currently on the fringe of society.

“In the world of today, we celebrate a new beginnings that were ready to be made,” said Senator Menéndez (TX-26). “I want to say thank you to what you are doing and the employees, you may or not realize this but the lives you have touched are lives you could be changing because so many kids, how could a child see themselves with little worth?”

The expansion of the Counseling and Resource Center is expected to complete in April 2017.

For more information about RMYA, visit www.rmya.com.

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