HOTBHN Wins Nearly Half A Million Dollar Award To Help Homeless Youth

WACO, TX – The Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network has been awarded a nearly a half-million dollars to continue filling gaps in services for runaway and homeless youth in the agency’s region, which includes McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, and Limestone counties.

The Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network’s Klaras Center for Families received the award through The Administration for Children & Families (ACF), Family and Youth Services Bureau’s (FYSB), Runaway Homeless Youth “Basic Center Program”. 

“This is our 2nd win for this program,” said Tom Christian, Director of Grants and Special Projects for the Klaras Center for Families. “It is a 3-year Federal grant that amounts to $151,350 per year, for 3 years ($454,050 in total), to support our “Safety Net” Basic Center Program housed at the Chase House. In the first iteration of this grant (beginning in 2019) we helped over 20 runaway youth to gain access to immediate shelter and support services in the effort to get them integrated into safe housing and back into community.”

The Chase House, which opened in 2018, serves youth ages 10 through 17 from a variety of populations including those who have run away, are homeless, may need respite services or those who have been trafficked.

Mr. Christian and Ron Kimbell, the Director of Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health through the Klaras Center for Families, are excited about the possibilities the award provides.

“This federal funding will allow the Chase House to continue providing essential wraparound programming for youth in our community who are homeless, for youth who have been trafficked, and for those who have run away,” Mr. Kimbell said. “These youth will have access to a therapeutic and safe shelter where not only their basic needs will be met, but where they will also receive counseling support, resources, and assistance transitioning back to their home or to more stable housing.”

“Our Basic Center Program fills a critical gap in the local youth support system helping runaway and trafficked youth (aged 10-17) to gain access to much needed services like safe immediate shelter (for up to 21 days), positive connections to therapeutic personnel, and case management, as well as ongoing aftercare support to assist with continuity care,” Christian said.


Vince Erickson, Director of Community and Governmental


Cell: (254) 265-2030

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