Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Morning is lighting the way


NEW MORNING Youth and Family Services youth shelter behavioral therapist Anthony Terry, left, shines a green light to welcome runaways to the shelter. David Ashby, shelter director, center, and Mary Tyler, shelter manager, are ready to help runaways. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

From page B2 | December 16, 2013 | 1 Comment

There’s a green light shining in the window of New Morning’s Emergency Youth Shelter. It’s pretty hard to find a green CFL bulb, but the reason for it is important.

November was National Runaway Prevention Month and the green light symbol supported bringing awareness to the problem of teen runaways and educating the public about what solutions exist in their communities.

“I think people are more aware of runaways in big cities,” said New Morning Youth and Family Services Executive Director David Ashby. “Often, people don’t recognize that we have runaways here as well. Maybe, we just don’t want to know. There are an estimated 300-700 runaways in our community each year.

“Kids out there are struggling and they need help,” said Ashby. “It’s pretty scary for them to end up on the street. About 35 percent of all runaways, including the ones in our county, have been sexually abused and 75-80 percent have been physically abused as well.”

Runaway or throwaway kids typically leave their homes after altercations with parents or guardians; often they’ve been told they are no longer wanted.

New Morning’s Emergency Youth Shelter is a safe haven for runaways.

“Typically we have three kinds of kids at the shelter,” said Ashby. “Runaways, homeless and youth in crisis. Since 2008 when the economy dropped, there has been a real increase in homeless kids —sometimes it’s just them and sometimes it’s their whole family.”

Mary Tyler, shelter manager, describes the situation of a recent runaway who was brought to the shelter.

“He’s bipolar and he ran away and camped out with just his jacket for warmth for about 10 days. I’m trying to make sure we can get him his medication,” Tyler said.

The boy, as with most runaways, spent some time couch-hopping at the homes of friends.

“But, in terms of safety, couch-surfing is no better than camping out on the street,” said Ashby. “They are at risk for assault or injury, especially if where they are staying belongs to an unscrupulous person.”

“They might be drier or warmer,” said Tyler, ” but they aren’t safer.”

Not only has the number of kids staying at the shelter increased but the length of time they stay has increased as well.

“First, we make them feel safe and comfortable; then we try to figure out why they ran away,” said Tyler. “We contact the parents or guardians and try to figure out how to get them into the next safe place. There is always a therapist or other professional in contact with the family.”

Because the reasons for running away have become more complex in recent times, it takes longer to work things out to get them in the next safe place, said Ashby.

“We try to get the child and family engaged in counseling because, for the majority, the best place is home and that’s our ultimate goal — to get them back home,” said Ashby.

“We never charge kids for our shelter services,” said Ashby, “but we do accept donations.”

Last year the shelter served 219 youth, almost all of them from El Dorado County.

“Since we moved into this new building,” said Ashby, “the number of local kids we serve has increased and the kids from out of the area has decreased.”

While you might not be able to prevent a child from running away from home, there is a place in El Dorado County for them to go as long as New Morning keeps the light shining for them.

In a side note: The Shelter has been in the new building for two years and is doing well, but the Shelter van is on its last legs. If you know of a good replacement contact New Morning Youth & Family Services at 530-622-5551.

Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.


Discussion | 1 comment

  • Lori BorrelliDecember 17, 2013 - 5:45 pm

    New Morning has been a safe place for many children, however, the child with bipolar had their gender mentioned, diagnosis and length of time missing disclosed to the general public. Confidentially has been breached for this child and his family. By mentioning a child with bipolar, I'm concerned this article gives the reader the belief that New Morning is an appropriate place for all children/adolescents with brain disorders (mental illness). A mentally ill person does not always "run away", they have distorted thinking, at times, and can find themselves in situations that are not safe and they need help. If a child on the Autism Spectrum leaves their home, they are viewed as missing and not a "run away". Children/adolescents with mental illness should be viewed the same way. New Morning does not have the professional staff to assist children in mania. If a child has suicidal thoughts he/she would be taken to Marshall Hospital for assessment, and then to a psychiatric hospital, if necessary. Family counseling is very different than psychiatric services. Every family is different and recovery takes a very long time when children/adolescents are off of their meds and New Morning is a short term shelter. Although New Morning has helped hundreds of families, in times of crisis, and given shelter to children and adolescents in our community, there is no psychiatric unit in El Dorado County for children/adolescents and New Morning is not a substitute for one. I don't want parents, who are raising mentally ill children, to think this shelter can always meet their needs. Call before you need them and find out. Safety First.

    Reply | Report abusive comment


Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

No quick fix for California’s highways

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 8 Comments | Gallery

Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3



My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4



Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments


By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments



Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7



4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5



Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2



Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate




By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8