By Jody Kerzman
Give us a little history about Charles Hall Youth Services.
Charles Hall began 50 years ago as a mission of the United Church of Christ to provide boarding home services to Native American youth from the Three-Affiliated Tribes of Ft. Berthold. Hall Home opened to serve its first youth in 1966, Good Bird Home opened in 1970, and Case Home opened in 1987. All three homes are located in Bismarck. In its early years, many youth lived at Charles Hall for one to three years. Today’s youth, on average, are in placement for six to nine months to complete the ESSENTIAL Program and transition into a new foster home, back home to biological parents, or to a different level of foster care.
Who do you help?
Each year, the agency serves close to 90 youth, ages 10 – 19, of all backgrounds. Children enter Charles Hall for many reasons: abuse and neglect; substance abuse and/or addiction; unruliness or delinquency; family conflict; school issues; and, issues resulting in court-ordered removal from the home environment.
How are you different from other agencies like yours?
Charles Hall is unique because it serves at-risk youth within the community, interfacing with area schools, medical providers, and other organizations. The three residences – Hall Home, Good Bird Home, and Case Home – also distinguish Charles Hall from other residential providers. At-risk youth in care experience living in a residential home, within a neighborhood in the local community, with staff who care for youth much like parents – preparing meals, teaching youth how to do laundry, assisting with homework, and instructing youth in those things that lead to healthier, happier relationships and daily living competencies. Charles Hall Youth Services is the only community-based, residential foster care agency in central North Dakota to serve both boys and girls.
How can people donate to your organization?
There are several ways to make a gift to Charles Hall Youth Services:
- Donations can be sent to Charles Hall Youth Services, PO Box 1995, Bismarck, ND 58502.
- Credit card payments can be made online at the agency’s website: www.charleshallyouthservices.com. Click on “Make a Difference-Donate Now” to donate.
- Call Rhonda Styles-Rohde at 701-255-2773, ext. 301, to learn about giving options.
- Stop by Charles Hall Youth Services at 513 E. Bismarck Expressway in Bismarck.
What are your needs right now if someone would like to donate?
Monetary donations always are needed. Each year, the organization must raise close to $400,000 just to maintain current programming. Many times youth enter Charles Hall with literally nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Monetary donations can provide much-needed clothing. And, because Charles Hall youth live in actual homes, the agency also needs regular house hold items, including twin sheets, pillow cases, mattress covers, towels, wash clothes, pots and pans, cooking utensils, and silverware. With Christmas approaching, gift cards are especially needed – those gift cards enable staff to purchase items specifically for each child. Gift cards and monetary gifts also can assist with fresh food purchases and special holiday outings, such as going to the movies. The agency also requests stocking stuffer items, including things like scented lotions, lip gloss, books, journals, and socks.
For more information about Charles Hall Youth Services, persons can call 701-255-2773 or visit the agency’s website: www.charleshallyouthservices.com.