The El Paso Center for Children (EPCC) offers a wide variety of programs – everything from a foster care placement program, to an emergency shelter for homeless and runaway youth, to a counseling program for youth and their families that aims to prevent crises before they occur.
These many varying programs didn’t emerge over the years by chance, though – they are fully intentional. As EPCC’s Executive Director, Beth Senger, says, “Our agency from the outside looking in probably looks unusual because we have a wide range of services but what we’re really looking to do is build a continuum of services for homeless and traumatized youth.”
Now, just shy of 100 years since it opened, EPCC is looking to fill the last piece of the continuum with a transitional living center to help youth aging out of state systems on the path to adulthood.
It hasn’t been an easy road, though. Senger points out that there are many challenges to operating in El Paso, which is so far removed from other parts of the state. “We’re a big city but without the resources of Texas’ other big cities,” she says.
Being a part of the TNOYS network has helped EPCC feel a bit more connected and aware of statewide events, resources, and best practices.
“What I really value about TNOYS is that I’ve gotten a great heads up about things that are going on in the state, like pending legislation or the creation of the Emergency Shelter Task Force,” says Senger. “I really appreciate those efforts to help all of us understand what’s happening with the Legislature and also how we can connect and provide better services.”
Visit tnoys.org/events to learn about upcoming meetings of the Emergency Shelter Task Force.