Arrow Family Ministries to break ground on new regional shelter

Alex Mann
Managing Editor

Across the Texas Panhandle, cases of drug and alcohol use, neglect, and abuse impact children and families all too often. Though these traumas can leave life long scars, the work of charities like Arrow Child & Family Ministries strive to begin the long and difficult process of healing for kids. Through tireless work, Arrow hopes to make a difference in the life of each child they work with, and with the groundbreaking of a new facility in Amarillo, the organization hopes to impact lives across the region on a whole new scale.

“These kids come from communities in a 41-county region of northwest Texas that includes the cities of Amarillo and Lubbock,” says Wes Reeves. A representative for Xcel Energy, Wes also sits on Arrow's advisory committee, and is adamant about the importance of the charity's local work. He says, “In this region, more than 3,500 confirmed cases of abused or neglect are confirmed each year.” Though Arrow's facilities are based in Amarillo, Wes explains that families in need across the region stand to benefit from the organization's new facilities, “This facility has long served children from around the area.” Wes continues, “When kids are picked up from abusive homes by the state, generally they try to find a foster home to place them in, but sometimes that's not always an option depending on the time of day or week. So one of the main functions of Arrow is to provide emergency shelter, and it's not just Amarillo kids, it's kids all over the region that are served.”

Interested locals are invited to attend and tour the groundbreaking this Tuesday in Amarillo, “The event is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the Arrow campus, located about two miles south of Interstate 40 on Pullman Road in east Amarillo.” Wes says, “Arrow was formerly known as Panhandle Assessment Center, and to this point has cared for kids through an emergency shelter and a system of foster homes.” While Arrow's past work was impressive in its own right, Wes was able to explain why the new facility is such a profound step forward for Arrow's mission. “We're moving towards what's known as a residential treatment center, and we don't have many options in the Panhandle region for something like that.” Wes says, “It's for kids who've suffered greatly from abuse and neglect... sometimes these kids need time in a group home to get counseling and work through these issues. Since we don't have a facility like that around here, a lot of times these kids are sent elsewhere. So it will be really helpful to keep them close to home, it will help to reduce the trauma a little bit. If a kid is from Borger and he knows he's going to Amarillo as opposed to somewhere else in the state, he'll feel a little more comfortable about it since he's probably been to Amarillo before, or knows someone there... it just feels a little bit more like home.”

Despite its home in Amarillo, Arrow frequently sees volunteers from across the region, and Wes was able to provide some information for those interested in offering their time. “A great way to start is to call Arrow and schedule a visit. We have a lot of church groups that get involved, and civic groups. There's always lot of work to be done with existing facilities,” He says, “Of course we're always seeking financial assistance as well.” With work still in progress to make the planned residential facility a reality, donations are still very much needed in seeing the project through to completion. According to Wes, “We have raised 71 percent of a $2.5 million goal to build a new residential treatment center at the campus and renovate the existing facilities.” Though not everyone will be able to make the drive up to Amarillo on Tuesday, Wes assures the groundbreaking will be well worth the time for anyone in Borger with a heart to serve. “We’d love to have as many of you as possible at the groundbreaking next Tuesday in Amarillo.” He says, “The address of the facility is 4655 S. FM 1258 off the Pullman Road exit from Interstate 40. We’ve scheduled tours at 3:00 p.m. so you can see what Arrow does to help these kids, and then break ground at 4:00 p.m.”