Bloom House Youth Services Planning New Years Eve Opening Event | To free
Bloom House Youth Services will officially open its doors this week after nearly three years of planning, and the community is invited to join in the celebration.
A 501 (c) (3) organization formed in 2019, Bloom House will tackle youth homelessness in an inclusive space, providing support through access to case management, mental health care and life skills education to ensure an empowered future.
The shelter, located at 301 W. 11th Ave., will open its doors and officially begin operations on January 1, 2022. A big New Years opening party is scheduled for December 31 at 7:00 PM.
Bloom House President and Founder Clara Corn said it was an amazing feeling to be able to welcome people to see the refuge for the first time.
“We described it to each other as ‘happy panic’ because you feel like you are full of static electricity,” she said. “We’re really excited to see this happen. It’s amazing to sit down and watch what we’ve created; it’s incredible.”
Corn said Bloom House staff and volunteers put the finishing touches to the shelter. Because the house was the old SOS shelter, she said she was “ready to move in” with just a few touches and updates needed.
“There are a few more things that we are still working on, like building a shelf, putting up a cork board wall, painting a chalk wall,” she said. . “We are open to any type of group that wants to do a mural in one of the bedrooms, because we have to get each room ‘adopted’ by people who want an excuse to beautify it. It’s perfectly livable right now, but it can still look bright, fun, and colorful.
A great need, said Corn, is the donation of household items and furniture. Besides seven bedrooms that can accommodate up to 12 needy teens at a time, there are two living areas and the three kitchens.
Donations of hygiene products and food are also welcome. In fact, guests at Friday’s open house are encouraged to bring donation items if they can.
“This stuff is going to be so needed and we’re going to go through it so quickly because we’re going to be feeding kids who aren’t just safe with us but who just need a meal,” Corn said.
Corn expects the shelter to be used soon after opening its doors. They have spoken to other agencies in the region to let them know that services are coming to Emporia. Program manager Emily Yell, who lives on site, is ready to welcome teens in need.
The reception center will be open to all young people in need, even if they are not homeless. Computer access, laundry, on-site counselors and more will be available.
“I am on [the resource room] will be used right away and I think it will be a slow build as people learn more about us, ”said Corn. “If they just need a place to be or if they just need to come in and talk to a therapist or our case manager for referrals. Maybe they need a hot shower or use the classroom. We’re going to have this safe place to be.
Corn added that it’s exciting to see things being marked off their checklist as they get closer to opening. Bloom House is now full and these names are being updated on the website.
“We’re really happy to have the party style that we’re doing, which is just back and forth as you can,” Corn said. “We don’t have a schedule. We’ll just have music and we’ll have good food.
She stressed that the open house is a family event. Refreshments from The Vault and Renegade Cupcakes as well as beverages – alcoholic and non-alcoholic – will be served throughout the evening. Maize demanded that people bring proof of vaccination if they can.
“We will ask people to bring proof of vaccination if they are medically capable of being vaccinated, just because we don’t want anyone to ring the New Year with COVID,” she said. “We try to take it with a lot of caution and safety for everyone while still being able to party. … I don’t want anyone to get sick because they came to support Bloom House.
For more information on Bloom House Youth Services, visit www.bloomhouseks.org. You can also follow the shelter on all social media using @BloomHouseKS.