After more than a decade serving as a drop-in center for at-risk teens and youths, The Kitchen, Inc. announced today the Rare Breed youth outreach center in downtown Springfield will be closing the evenings, giving at-risk and homeless teens in the city one less option for nighttime services.
The Rare Breed will now be open during what is considered normal business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to a press release from The Kitchen.
The statement from the Kitchen said that the reduction in hours will not reduce service to at-risk and homeless area teens.
“The change in hours will not affect the services provided to our youth. It will enable us to better fulfill our mission of providing stability and purpose to people who are homeless,” the release said. “Thank you for your continued support of our at-risk and homeless youth.”
The Kitchen says that some of those services include giving the youth a place to shower, obtain hygiene products, clothing and food. They can also use computers and charge cell phones.
However, changes to the services at the center because of the earlier closing could result in lower amounts of youth being able to use the Rare Breed’s services.
Rare Breed has been shifting focus in recent years to case management services which will take place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. by appointment only. The center will then be open to youths from 3 to 5 p.m. but only dependent on the number of staff members who are available. Only five youths will be permitted in the building per staff member. The press release said that it will limit the amount of youths to approximately 25 youths at a time.
Dinner services will still be available through volunteer groups at 4 p.m. but will only be available until the new closing time of 5 p.m.. The Rare Breed is advising these groups to bring items to allow you to take the food and leave.
“We encourage the groups to please provide meals that are easy for our youth to take with them or provide to-go containers (with lids if applicable) and plastic ware for those meals,” the release said.