Aug 28, 2013 10:30 PM by Steven Albritton

Local Children's Shelter Closes Its Doors After 40 Years of Service

An Acadiana children's shelter has closed its doors after being open for more than 40 years. The Children's Shelters of Acadiana Youth, Inc. has faced cutbacks over the years, and recently was forced to stop operating one of its programs. Executive Director Vicki Boudreaux says they've faced many obstacles, but in the end the "Children's Shelter," had to close.

"We've gone from roughly 90% per diem covered to 55% in this last year. That's a huge number," Boudreaux said.

The reduction in cash flow adds up to more than $200,000 they didn't receive to run the shelter. For the past year, they've dipped into reserves to stay open. Now with fewer kids to care for and the lack of cash, they officially closed their doors on August 9th.

"There's a finite value of contributors and we feel that we just can't continue to put pressure in the community to cover the cost," Boudreaux said.

The kids will go to other homes and shelters further away from Lafayette, but Boudreax says this place was special to Acadiana.

"Maybe there will be a kid from some small town in Acadia Parish, and she'll have to go to Baton Rouge because this house isn't open anymore. That hurts. They'll be fine, but it's that child that just wants a chance. That's it. I'll miss that part of it," Boudreaux said.

As of right now, Acadiana Youth, Inc. has no plans to re-purpose the 16-bed facility. The organization, as a whole, is not closing permanently. They will still run the STEPS program which helps adolescent girls with addiction problems. They will also continue the "Maison de Mere," program which helps teenage girls who are pregnant or who are parenting a child.



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