Children, age infant to 14 years old, are brought to Watson Children’s Shelter for many reasons. Often they have experienced trauma due to physical abuse, sexual abuse, abandonment, or family crisis with nowhere else to go. They typically are brought to us by police or social workers anytime, day or night.

They are often scared, angry, defiant or withdrawn when they arrive. Our immediate focus is to make them feel safe and nurtured, to give them something they haven’t had — normalcy. At Watson, kids attend school regularly, do chores, go on field trips, celebrate birthday parties, eat nutritionally balanced meals together and are taught responsibility, all while under the supervision of our highly trained staff.

Although the stories of what brought children through the doors of Watson Children’s Shelter are shocking, their resilience is truly inspirational. It is such a pleasure to see the way they smile while being read to, sing to a baby doll, eagerly climb steps to the top of the slide, or sit happily drawing a picture. Despite all that they’ve been through and seen, they are children, and they have hope.