Youth Resource Center Updates

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The center is coming along! The contractors are in there now doing the heavy duty stuff. Good news/Bad news: the opening date is probably going to be delayed BUT, the end result is going to be even better than we had planned. The details are coming together for the flooring, paint, kitchen cabinets and countertops, etc. It’s going to be AMAZING!

Here is a link to some of the photos from the work day on November 19th:!/media/set/?set=a.299641800068452.77624.202503353115631&type=3

And don’t forget, there are still LOTS of needed items. If you’d like to pick up a few while you’re out Christmas shopping, here’s a Target Wishlist:

Thnk you to everyone who has supported this project. It’s going to be so wonderful for our community when it is finished!

Homeless Youth Resource Center Updates

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Here’s all the latest scoop on what we have been calling the drop-in center. To avoid confusion with the adult drop-in centers in town, we’re using the name Homeless Youth Resource Center until the kids pick a name for the center.

Work Day #1: is Saturday November 19th 9-3. More info here:

Items still needed for the center:

Target Wishlist


Pool Table for Drop-In Center

Food for Drop-In Center Work Day

Paper Goods for the Drop-In Center

Cleaning Supplies for the Drop-In Center

Needs List for Drop-In Center (Larger Items)

If you can help with any of these items or if your church or business would like to host a donation drive or “angel tree” please email

After this Saturday’s work day, the contractors will be in there working hard to get everything ready for us to move in later in December. The target move-in date and community work day is Dec. 17th, 2011. More info on that work day here:

And last but not least, a HUGE thanks to some of the many people working hard to make all of this happen!

Volunteer Kansas

Bauer & Son Construction

A&H Electric

Meadowland Fine Remodeling

Wichita Children’s Home



Our Efforts Stay Local

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A few months ago we were asked to be part of an event in Kansas City that we decided to decline. Through our partnership with ASERCA the decision was made not to participate in this particular event.

Today, a news story was brought to my attention about the event:

The organization is said to be planning to issue a statement soon.

I wanted to take this opportunity to remind our supporters that EVERYTHING that ICT S.O.S. does stays local. We work with local organizations in the Wichita, KS area that are directly serving victims and at-risk youth. All donations are made directly to local agencies and all in-kind donations of items such as clothing, supplies, etc. go directly to these agencies as well.

Right now, ICT S.O.S. is completely volunteer and has no overhead costs. As we continue to grow, that may change but the local focus will not.

For a list of some of the agencies we work with, or to make donations directly to them, please visit the Support Our Mission page.

As services and agencies close down, the need is greater than ever for kids in our city. The weather is getting colder and donations are down at most local agencies. If you are considering a gift before the end of the year, PLEASE consider giving locally.

Some immediate needs are listed on our Volunteer Opportunities page.


Child Advocacy Center/EMCU Needs List

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The Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County and the EMCU have compiled a list of items they would like to have on hand in their facility for when they bring in kiddos who are in trauma. These items are not only basic necessities that the children often need but are also used to help gain trust so that kids feel more comfortable talking with officers and therapists.

Back packs – variety of sizes
Duffle bags – smaller in general
School supplies
Hygiene items – toothbrush, toothpaste, soaps, deodorant, hairbrush, comb, African-American hair products, hair products for both boys and girls, etc.
It would be great to even have some of these common items packaged in a zip lock bag.
Make-up, nail polish, lip gloss
If there are “themes” in the items, they could be bagged in a “0-5 girl, 7-11 boy, etc.” duffle bags and labeled
Socks, slippers, underwear, sports bras, flip flops
Larger blankets – for teens
Journals and pens

Bottled Water is an immediate need!

If you, your church, organization or business would like to host a donation drive for these items, please contact for more info!

You can also donate online to the CAC at:

October Meeting Wrap-Up

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Tonight’s meeting was held at the future drop-in center location at 11th & Emporia.

In addition to sharing meeting time and space with the Homeless Youth Coalition, our group met separately to discuss the progress of our 3 action committees.

Resource Development is currently working on preparations for the community workday at the drop-in center location. Other topics covered were t-shirt designs, a spring awareness event, documentary screening and several donation drives for local agencies. We will also be adopting the older girls of Carpenter Place for Christmas. An ongoing need is for people to fill out the Resource Development form in preparation for the drop-in center project.

Education & Training is working on a “Train the Trainer” program to train speakers to make presentations in our community. A training date should be set by our November meeting.

Legislative & Policy is currently working on a contact list of state representatives and a form letter and phone script for contacting them with regards to human trafficking issues.

Over the next month we will have a LOT of activity. Please be sure to sign up on the left to receive our email updates.

Watch for a story on tonight’s KWCH newscast about ICT S.O.S. and the upcoming Human Trafficking Converence.


Homeless Youth Daytime Drop-In Center

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So, what is this drop-in center project we keep talking about? If you were at the September ICT S.O.S. meeting you got to see the space firsthand. But if you haven’t been there yet- here’s a sneak peek.

The Good Neighbor Center at 11th & Emporia will soon be transformed into a space for Wichita’s homeless and at- risk youth. It doesn’t look like much now but with some help and a whole lotta elbow grease, we’re going to turn it into something amazing!

Let me give you the tour:

The above photos are of the main room. This will be where the kids have their Thursday night group, meet with Street Outreach staff, work with mentors, and do other activities. The window in the lower photo goes to the kitchen. We would love to see that space transformed into a countertop area with barstools for a sort of “teaching kitchen” use. The general feel and vibe for this room will be reminiscent of a cool coffee shop. Sort of industrial but comfy. Bar height tables and stools, smaller seating areas scattered throughout and personalized touches.  Maybe a chalkboard wall or an area for the kids’ art to be displayed.

Moving right along on our tour:

Pardon the mess! This room will become a couple of things. See those floor to ceiling shelves? Hello…library! This will also be an art room. The cabinets, counters and sink are perfect for supplies to create masterpieces! And the one thing the kids have really been asking for is what they call a “comfort room”. A place of solitude. Peaceful, quiet, and serene. An escape. A place to sit quietly and get lost in a book or have a quiet conversation with a trusted mentor.

Follow me please, to the next space:

This room, I believe, will become office space and storage for Street Outreach. All the clothes, food and supplies will be warehoused here to give out as needed as well as desks and equipment for the Street Outreach team.

Moving along:

Welcome to the kitchen. She’s not pretty but she has good bone structure. A little facelift would do wonders. Spruce up the cabinets, sassy new countertops, a fresh coat of paint. The big triple sink is a huge bonus. What a great space to teach kids how to cook for themselves. Or how about a church youth group coming in to bake Christmas cookies to decorate and share? Pizza for a Superbowl party?

Next on our tour:

OK, you’ll really have to use your imagination here. One of the huge bonuses of this location is that it has 2 bathrooms…with showers! One for the guys, one for the gals. Mr. Clean will get a workout in here for sure. The building also has laundry facilities. They will have 2 washers, 2 dryers and detergent for a year when they open. How amazing would it be for a kid who has been sleeping on the streets to have a hot shower and a clean set of clothes to put on? Uh-mazing!

One more stop on the tour. Let’s step outside:

 This is the area behind the building. It is enclosed to the street so the kids will have an outdoor space that is clean & safe. Some outdoor seating would a great addition to the existing basketball court.

So there you have it. This is the “before” of what can and WILL become and amazing “after”. And the hope is that this place will be the “before” to some amazing “after” stories for Wichita’s kids.

So now I know you’re asking HOW do I get involved?? You can start by filling out the form on our Resource Development page. We’ll be contacting possible donors & volunteers in October. Or email To see more of these photos, check out our Facebook page.

A little of this, a little of that…

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A few things going on to share with everyone:

1. Today we were able to provide 10 cell phones to Carpenter Place for use with the older girls in the Independent Living apartments. They are pre-paid phones with talk & text capability that can be added to as needed. A HUGE thank you to AT&T on north Rock Road in Wichita for donating 6 of the phones. Activation, pre-paid minutes and additional phones were all donated by ICT S.O.S. supporters! This will be a huge help especially for the girls who have jobs off-campus.

2. ICT S.O.S. member, Michelle Gills, wrote a piece on her blog recently about a local street ministry. You can read about it here:

3. Health Info TV has donated ad space on their hospital and doctor’s office waiting area network. Watch for these banner ads!



Carpenter Place- Helping Wichita Girls!

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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Cory Long, the new CEO of Carpenter Place. We were both attending the same meeting about homeless youth along with Michelle Martling of 24-7 Life Ministries. Immediately Michelle and I knew Cory was something special!

During the meeting Cory mentioned that Carpenter Place had openings for girls in both the 6-18 age cottages and the 18-21 age apartments on their campus. The next day Michelle took one of the girls she had met through her street ministry work over to view the apartments. She moved in almost immediately. As Cory tells the story, she was moved to tears and visibly shaking as she viewed the apartment that would soon be hers. Fully stocked and furnished, just as we would send our own kids out into the world. There were towels in the bathroom, dishes in the cabinets, bedding on the bed.

The bed.

Her own bed.

Where she could do something she hadn’t been able to do in ages…sleep in on a weekend morning. And a shower that she didn’t have to share with anyone else. And if she completes the program designed for her, she gets to take everything in the apartment with her when she moves on. Yup. All of it. The furniture, the dishes, the towels. She’ll have all the essentials to start her independent life out in the big ol’ world. Just as we would send our own kids out into the world.

When she moved into her apartment, just as every other girl on campus, she became family. Cory and his wife Michelle care for the girls at Carpenter Place as if they were their own.

Carpenter Place is privately funded and faith-based. The girls attend an e-learning school right on campus with their wonderful teacher JoAnn. They love to sew and JoAnn loves teaching them.

With school in mind, there are a few things that JoAnn has said the classroom could use:

  • CD Players (The girls can listen to CDs at their work stations while they do their school work)
  • Energizer Rechargeable Batteries (AAs)
  • Spiral Notebooks (The girls go through a lot of these!)
  • Pocket Folders (The paper kind)
  • Pens & Pencils
  • New or Refurbished Computers (OK- this one they didn’t ask for but they NEED them and I’m throwing it out there because…who knows!)

If you can help with any of these items, please email

In just the few weeks I have known him, Cory has moved 2 girls off the streets and into Carpenter Place apartments. This is a great opportunity for girls in our city to escape a life of exploitation. Or even better, to avoid one. Not only do they meet the basic needs of the girls but the social, spiritual, and emotional needs as well. They help these girls heal and prepare for a great life ahead. They teach them to budget, apply for a job, cook, plan…

Just as we would send our own kids out into the world.