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Charles Hall qualified residential program closing

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 3:35 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Charles Hall Youth and Family Services Director Gayla Sherman says several children will have to move after the non-profit closes its qualified residential treatment program on Saturday.

The program treated children dealing with major mental health and behavioral issues.

Charles Hall Youth and Family Services has provided a safe home for children dealing with major mental and behavioral health issues in central North Dakota for more than 50 years.

Now, the executive director says those kids will have to look elsewhere, because the non-profit’s qualified treatment program is coming to an end. When the year began, it was one of five Qualified Residential Treatment Programs in the state. After Saturday, there will be only two.

“It’s tough times. We, like many small businesses, COVID has hit us pretty hard...as well as new legislation and it has really shaken our child welfare system quite a bit in the state,” said Sherman.

Sherman says the program is running out of money because of the coronavirus pandemic as well as a change in how the state funds mental health treatment programs for children.

She says most of the children at the facility will either go to the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch in Fargo or Home on the Range in Beach. One is going back to live with their family.

“The thing that gives us heartache is the fact that we serve kids from across the state, which means if you’re located on the western side of the state and you have a family out in Grafton, it’s a lot of miles between you and the facility,” said Sherman.

While the program is ending, Sherman says the non-profit will stay open and try to figure out how to evolve to help families moving forward.

“Many people came before us. It’s hard to not think we’re letting them down, but on the other hand, probably another hand, probably another door will open for us that we can’t see right now, where there’s even greater need and we may be the ones that can meet that,” said Sherman.

Since 1965, Charles Hall has helped more than 5,000 at-risk children. Sherman says she hopes to keep that legacy alive.

She’s asking for volunteers over the next several weeks to help donate furniture, leftover clothes and other items to other non-profits around Bismarck. If you’d like to help, call: (701) 255-2773, ext. 304

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