Our Friends' Place provides a safe, homelike environment for an underserved population in the Dallas community, girls and young women. Entering the 12th year of service, Our Friends' Place operates a therapeutic group home for girls, ages 10 to 17, and a transitional living center for young women ages 18 to 24.
Our Friends' Place provides 24-7 care for the girls in the group home. The girls stay until they can be placed in an appropriate and safe environment, whether that can be accomplished in a few months or years. Our Friends' Place also provides an environment with degreed professionals who live with the girls. The girls attend Dallas public schools and, when appropriate, participate in extracurricular activities such as band, basketball, cheerleading and Junior ROTC. The girls also receive individual, group and, sometimes, family therapy.
The transitional living center is also unique because young women, who are not pregnant, don’t have drug abuse and alcohol problems, and without children, are helped as well. These young women are without supportive families and are often asked to leave home upon turning 18. These women generally do not have the skills and the maturity to live successful, independent lives. Through the transitional living center program, they are required to work at part-time jobs, while attending community college, a 4 year college or vocational training.
The impact of Our Friends' Place is not limited to the girls in the group home. Through family counseling, the organization gives families the opportunity to learn how to relate more effectively with other children in the home. In this way, the girls can become successful role models for their siblings and friends. Most importantly, the program helps to stop the cycle of abuse and reliance on state and social services that the girls often face. Our Friends' Place relies heavily on volunteers. The board of directors is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of the girls and women it serves. There are volunteers who mentor and/or tutor both the girls and women. Other volunteers provide activities for the girls, and some help to maintain the homes.