HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — There is a huge need to help children in foster care find some stability in their life. Many are moved from facility to facility.

The Burke Center for Youth is hoping to take in a couple more kids, but it needs help in order to help others.

Currently, 24 boys from ages 10 to 17 years old live at the center.

“Our focus is just on foster kids that have been abused, neglected, and that’s who we take care of,” said Steve Fournier, the center’s executive director.

Executive Director Steve Fournier said he hopes to get more staff, so they can fill all 30 beds at the Burke Center for Youth.
Executive Director Steve Fournier said he hopes to get more staff, so they can fill all 30 beds at the Burke Center for Youth.

They provide therapy and care as those children try to find a foster home or get adopted. The center helps these young boys through their struggles, but recently, the center itself is struggling as well.

“We’re in a deficit for every month for funding for our operational needs,” Fournier said.

With the rise in costs and decrease in donations, Fournier said money is running dry.

“It hits you everywhere around food prices, gas prices and employment costs. We’ve raised prices for employees $5 an hour,” Fournier said.

It’s caused them to cut back on day-to-day staffing and overtime. Their financial burdens caught the attention of the Hays County Commissioners Court, which will discuss sending them money from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Right off the bat, that’s gonna help us get out of the hole that we’re in,” Fournier said.

Even with these challenges, the center continues its work. Work that Care Counselor Lindsay Williams said is meaningful to both the boys and the staff as well.

“It changes you too. It really does touch your soul. It really does touch your spirit to be able to work with these kids,” Williams said.

Fournier said once they get more staff on board, they’ll be able to get more boys in their care.

The funding vote is on Tuesday’s agenda for Hays County Commissioners Court.