Written by Amanda Watson, Marketing Director (Portage/South Bend, IN)
Larry Mudd is a Partner and VP-Development for Holladay Properties. Larry is actively involved in Crisis Center, Inc., and currently serves as a member of the Wine Fest & Auction Committee, the organization's annual fundraising event.
Originally founded in 1971, the Crisis Center's mission is to serve as agents to respond, to aid, to support, and enrich the people they serve. The Crisis Center offers a variety of programs including: counseling services, alternative housing, Safe Place, Teen Court, and Crisis Contact.
The Counseling Services program developed from the need for low cost, quick and easily accessible services. Counselors are experienced and have a minimum of a Masters degrees in the field of Social Work or Counseling.The program offers evening and weekend appointments to provide quick responses to client needs.
Alternative House/Promises are programs that provide emergency, short-term shelter for runaway, homeless, pushed out, abused or neglected youth aged 10 through the age of 17. The shelter opened in January 1976 and has a professional staff who act as advocates helping youth deal with personal or parent conflicts, preventing family deterioration, and providing individual, group and family counseling. Other services include recreation, an in-house, half-day school, transportation to their home community school, and to referred health services. Year-long follow-up contacts with parents or caregivers determines the success of youth for a year after they leave Alternative House.
"Promises" is the open residential, long term care program at Alternative House that offers youth a caring, structured therapeutic environment, transportation to and from school, skills training, case management and support to prepare them for their next steps in life. Youth referred by the Department of Child Services may be between the ages of 10 to 20, males and females. Young people may be referred from throughout Indiana.
Safe Place began in March 1987 to provide outreach to youth. Safe Place combines public/private cooperation to get help fast to youth in crisis situations. Businesses provide a location, display a Safe Place sign, and indicate a youth may request help. Youth are transported to Alternative House where their problem is addressed. Lake & Porter County business and other public locations are encourages to sign up to have a decal on their door. Free materials and training are included.
Teen Court is a prevention, early intervention and youth development program, started in November 1989. Teens who have committed an offense that has brought them to the attention of police have an opportunity to appear before a court of their peers who determine their sentence. Youth are trained to serve in the roles of prosecution, defense, bailiff, clerk and jurors. Fifteen years of outcome determine proves the success of the project to teach youth personal responsibility for their actions. Teen Court operate concurrently is Porter County, Crown Point, and Hammond. Youth Volunteers are currently being recruited.
Crisis Contact is the Crisis Center's pilot program. In 1971, volunteers created the 'Rap Line' to answer incoming calls from individual who needed information, referral, or just someone to talk to. The line also doubled as a suicide prevention hotline. Today, the program, which merged in 2003 with another local hotline service, is known as Crisis Contact. To reach the 24-hour, 7-day a week National hotline call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Volunteers are needed and professional training is offered free of charge.