Since 1993, we have provided a safe haven and loving care to more than 11,000 children from throughout the state of Arkansas. These children have all suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect, but with the guidance of our Shelter team and the support of the Northwest Arkansas community, we are showing them the way to a brighter future. In 2018 alone, we provided 174,840 hours of care to children in crisis. Here are just a few of their stories.
Jenny fought her whole life to be free of abuse and neglect. She finally escaped that world and arrived at the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter where she immediately began to thrive.Read more about Jenny
Jenny fought her whole life to be free of abuse and neglect. She finally escaped that world and arrived at the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter where she immediately began to thrive. For the first time in 17 years, she imagined living a normal life just like every other high school student. This included a wish to go to high school prom.
Casey, her case manager during her stay at the Children’s Shelter, shares:
“My heart is filled with so much joy! I got the privilege to go to prom with one of my kiddos from the shelter. No, it wasn’t a typical prom situation, but when a kiddo finally escapes abuse for the first time in 17 years, we do all we can to make it a perfect night for her. She is strong, resilient, courageous, unique, ambitious and unassuming. She inspires me and she is one of the million reasons I will never stop fighting for these kids. Prom night was a sweet reminder that no matter how many hard days we have to face, these special moments make every single hard day completely worth it. If these kiddos can endure years and years of abuse, then we can endure an infinite number of hard days. We have to, because they need us.”
Casey Krisell, Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter Case Manager
In February 2017, I was taken into the Children’s Shelter at 3:27 a.m.Read more about Sadie
In February 2017, I was taken into the Children’s Shelter at 3:27 a.m.
Due to my past, I was terrified of what I may be walking in to. What if this is the last time I see my brothers? What if I’m completely removed from my “normal” life? I can only imagine what my brothers thought, let alone any other child in the system. This being said, I was shocked walking in to see portraits painted among the walls, a dining room, welcoming staff members … gosh, don’t get me started on how shocked I was to see that we had legit rooms.
They’re decorated! It’s amazing. Here at the Shelter they do their best to make you feel as welcomed and comfortable as possible … Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter has honestly done the best they can do to help me in life. There was never a day that went by that I felt uncared for.
It was very hard adjusting, but I knew I was always okay in their hands.
Samuel came from an environment of neglect. He didn’t know where his next meal would come from, and he spent much of his young life on the streets.Read more about Samuel
Samuel came from an environment of neglect. He didn’t know where his next meal would come from, and he spent much of his young life on the streets.
By the time he arrived at the Children’s Shelter at 16-years old, he’d experienced 26 failed placements, was reading at a second grade level and failure was just a normal part of life.
Upon meeting Samuel, the dedicated team at the Shelter began building trust with him and created an individualized success plan.
He has not only received the care, love and vital services he so desperately needed, but he has thrived. Samuel has made great strides in school. He is working on life skills such as changing the oil in the Shelter vans, assisting with set-up for Shelter events and helping reconcile petty cash in the business office. He’s even opened up a bank account and visited different work environments to discuss career options for his future.
Before the Shelter, Samuel didn’t know home. At the Shelter, he’s found not only a home, but a family.
Teresa, age 17
I went to the on-site school which I liked because it gave me one-on-one time and that’s what I needed to help get my grades up and catch up on all my credits so I can graduate. I would like to thank all of the staff at the Shelter for making me and my son feel safe and taken care of.
Melanie, age 15
The best thing that I love about the Shelter is the acceptance. No matter where any of us came from, we are accepted here.
Henry, age 4
My new bed makes me happy. And I am clean and have a new shirt.
Adam, age 6
I like the Shelter because we get new stuff, like clothes, and we get to go outside and play kickball.
Marly, age 12
I’m so glad that I got to spend my 12th birthday here at the Shelter. It was truly the best!
Brianne, age 12
I’m glad to have a place that has food, water, clothes, beds, and, most of all, electricity.
Chelsea, age 13
The Shelter has truly given me hope to pursue my life to the fullest, put my past behind me, and move on to bigger and better things in life. The staff members, who I think of as family, have brought me to realize that I am valuable, strong and able to conquer anything I set my mind on.
Sammy, age 16
Thanks you NWACS, I now have a bright and successful future. I can’t say thank you enough and I will never forget the amazing people here.
Damien, age 17
Here at this Shelter, staff members treat you with respect and lots of care. They are all helpful and are willing to listen to anything you have to say. I feel safe here.
Pearson siblings, ages 12, 8, 6
Thank you for being here and helping take care of us. We love you all!
Chelle, age 16
The Shelter felt like a family to me – always helping me when I needed it and making me feel at ease. I might be leaving, but a part of me is staying.
Katie, age 14
This place has made me feel the most at home. What makes it so special is the staff. I have never met such caring and dedicated staff.
Rhiannon, age 17
Due to a rough childhood, I had lost all hope in life. The Shelter changed my life for the better. I’ve been given opportunities I never, ever thought I could get in life.”
Tonya, age 17
I learned that love is better than hate.
Lauren, age 16
The world’s not perfect, but people are there to help you. The Shelter was a good environment and people wanted the best for me, and it made me want to love myself more. If I had not gone to the Shelter, I don’t think I’d be in school and I would probably still be in a home when I’m the adult when I shouldn’t have to be.
Rachel, age 17
Thank you for never giving up on me when I was lost.
Mitchell, age 10
I rode on a tire swing for the first time!
Jesse, age 11
I love it here because I feel safe. The staff are here for me when I need them. Plus, I got to go to a Razorback game!
Jordyn, age 7
I like it here.
Kyle, age 9
I felt like I was being taken care of for the first time.
Sharee, age 12
While at the Shelter, I got to do two things for the first time – roller skating and bowling!
Danielle, age 16
The Shelter is a perfect placement for all ages. It’s a safe place where all of my needs were met so I could spend more time on things I needed to work on – like graduating! The Shelter helped me so much!
Tasha, age 17
While at the Shelter, I went from an 8th grade math level to almost a 12th grade level. I’m pretty proud of that.
Kylee, age 6
I tried a cupcake for the first time.
Javier, age 14
I learned to be proud of who I am.
Kiyasha, age 15
The staff treated me as if I were their family. They were always there for me and always reminded me of my worth.
Angela, age 14
The Shelter is a great place with warm hearts, open minds and lots of care.