HomeAid Inland Empire, Olive Crest Complete First Phase at Coachella Valley Children's Center

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Olive Crest, a leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse, and HomeAid Inland Empire, a charitable arm of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, have answered the call for specialized treatment and care facilities for victims of child abuse in the California desert region. With more than 10,000 reported cases of abuse in the Coachella Valley and surrounding desert communities, there is a real need for residential facilities for abused and at-risk youth in the area. HomeAId Inland Empire and Olive Crest have compelted the first phase of four residential homes at the Coachella Valley Children's Center.

When Olive Crest, a leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse, was asked by Riverside County to answer the call for specialized treatment and care facilities for victims of child abuse in the Desert region, they turned to HomeAid Inland Empire to help spearhead the project. With the first phase of four residential homes recently completed, the Coachella Valley Children's Center is ready to provide 24 abused and neglected children with a safe place to live.

"The Desert Chapter of the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Southern California and our charitable arm, HomeAid Inland Empire (http://www.homeaidie.org), strongly believe in supporting our local community," said Jeff Wattenbarger, president of the BIA Desert Chapter. "We know that Olive Crest provides a vital service and are very happy, together with one of our builder members, Family Development Corp., to be part of helping them fulfill their mission for at risk youth."    

"There is an unbelievable need for facilities like this one," said Dr Jim Brinton, president of the Coachella Valley Children's Center Board of Trustees. "In 2007, there were 10,094 reported cases of abuse in the Coachella Valley and surrounding desert communities. There are still very few residential facilities available to abused and at-risk youth in this area. Nearly half of the children removed from their homes due to child abuse or neglect were sent outside of the Coachella Valley. The support of HomeAid Inland Empire and Family Development, the builder captain for this project, was crucial in helping us provide a safe place for prevention and treatment. HomeAid's efforts and community support through the contribution of supplies, labor and funding, is vital to the success of the Children's Center projects."

The Coachella Valley Children's Center includes four residential homes and includes plans for a Community Education Center, gymnasium and swimming pool.

HomeAid Inland Empire's mission is to build or renovate shelters for transitionally homeless men, women and children. Together, HomeAid Inland Empire, the Building Industry Association (BIA) and Olive Crest are building new homes and futures for children. They completed the Inland Community Children's Ranch, consisting of four 3,000 square foot homes in ten days. The facility has expanded to include a non-public school, gymnasium, swimming pool and outdoor basketball court. More importantly, the project has served hundreds of at-risk youth in Riverside County.

Olive Crest started in 1973 as a home for four teenage girls. Today, over 30 years later, Olive Crest has grown to become a leader in the treatment of child abuse, serving at-risk families and children from birth to 22 years of age. Olive Crest provides safe homes and loving families for abused and neglected children, education, and counseling and is dedicated to preventing child abuse and to preserving the family 'one life at a time.' For more information go to http://www.olivecrest.org.

The concept of HomeAid began in Orange County in 1989 when members of the Building Industry Association established HomeAid as a way to support non-profit care provider organizations in their community by doing what they do best…building. As homebuilders, the decision was made to focus charity efforts on the broad area of those people who were temporarily in need of transitional housing. The first Inland Empire HomeAid project was dedicated in May of 1990, and 12 projects have been completed to date by the HomeAid Inland Empire chapter since it was established in 1985.

For more information about HomeAid Inland Empire or to find out how you can donate or volunteer, call (951) 686-0628 or go to http://www.homeaidie.org.

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Marlene Hanson

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