Pave the Way to a Brighter Future for Children: Support the New Home for CAPS

Abused children need a safe, quiet place to start their recovery

Children who come to CAPS due to abuse and neglect need a safe, quiet and welcoming environment to help them start to recover from their trauma.

Too often, our current overcrowded facility, the Joy Rose Center, doesn’t provide the privacy, the peace or the space necessary for these children.

Your support will build a better place to protect children from abuse and trauma

Donate to build a new Joy Rose Center to protect abused children from further trauma and reach as many as 800 more families in Elkhart County each year!

Why a new building? Why now?

The home of CAPS has housed the programs that have served tens of thousands of Elkhart County children and families since 1995, but as more people need these services, more problems arise from operating in this increasingly cramped and inefficient building.

Since 1995, when CAPS moved into the Joy Rose Center, formerly the home of Horizon Learning Center and ADEC, the number of people our programs serve per year and the number of our employees have both increased nearly fivefold.

(FTE: Full-time equivalents, one way of measuring the number of workers at a company)

In 1995, CAPS served only 1,509 people. The only way CAPS was able to grow to the point it is now is by having facilities that support our work.

With a projected client base of 9,000 in 2035, we need to re-align our physical space with the strategies we use to serve that many children and families.

In the current building, more and more people are being served in the same amount of space and sensitive programs dealing with the safety of abused or neglected children are increasingly being interrupted or disrupted by other activities in the building. 

Pave the Way!

Every dollar of your support will go toward building a better future for children. Supporters also have the option of contributing $250, $500 or $750 to have a commemorative sidewalk paver engraved with a message that will greet all visitors to the new home of CAPS for years to come.

Your support will help build a strong foundation for the future of children in Elkhart County. Give a tax-deductible gift today.

We see children on a regular basis who are traumatized and in a fragile emotional state. The names in the following stories have been changed to protect clients' identities.

Allie’s story

Allie is a sweet, lovable 4-year-old little girl with an awful secret. Her uncle touched her in a way that didn’t feel right, and suddenly her world has become a confusing, unsettling place.

Following normal protocol, detectives arranged for an interview at the Child And Family Advocacy Center at CAPS. Allie arrived at CAPS in the evening just as parent education classes were beginning. This place was another new and unusual experience for her, and what she really wanted was a quiet place where she could feel safe and shielded from bad things. The hustle and bustle of families coming and going, the sound of babies crying, and the crowded hallway all made her hold even tighter to her mother’s hand.

What Allie and hundreds of little girls and boys like her who will suffer child sexual abuse this year in Elkhart County really need is a better, quieter space: A calm, secure place away from the busy traffic of other families and strangers where they can begin to feel safe again.

Help CAPS provide a better space for children like Allie – where a private entrance to the building shields them from the busy everyday traffic and helps them on their road to a brighter, happier tomorrow.


A crying shame

Some children haven’t developed the skills to regulate their own behavior, sometimes to the point that their behavior is unmanageable. The Building Blocks Preschool at CAPS works with those types of children.

Once enrolled in the Preschool, children often display tantrums and loud outbursts as they adjust to the routines of the program. This adjustment period is necessary for children to learn that their behavior doesn’t get them what they want, and they learn better ways to get their needs met. As they learn to regulate their behavior, over time their tantrums are replaced with fresh ways of dealing with their frustrations. During those first several weeks of adjustment, those tantrums and outbursts can be unsettling to other children who overhear the cries and distress of another frustrated child.

Recently, 6-year-old Jayden (who was in the building for a different program) heard the cries of one of these children. Jayden, thinking he was at a doctor’s office, thought the other child was receiving a shot and was afraid he’d be given a shot to make him cry too. That’s a fear no child should experience, especially in a in a place where the motto is Happy Families, Healthy Kids.

Help CAPS provide a better space for children like Jayden – where program spaces can be positioned so that ALL children feel safe when they come to CAPS.


Building a stronger family

For 1-year-old Alexander, 2-1/2-year-old Amanda, 4-year-old Samantha, and 6-year-old Justin, family time is one evening a week they spend with their mom in a supervised visit at CAPS. Mom is overwhelmed by the complexities of life and struggling to put her own life back together, and her struggles have affected the children. The court system mandates she can only visit her children with supervision, away from home.

This evening is family time, but there’s no living room, no dinner table, no game room. In fact, tonight family time will be spent in a hallway at CAPS. With the other programs in progress at the same time, other space is simply not available. This evening, the distractions, the tiny space and the “make-do” arrangement add to the frustrations and disappointment everyone feels.

For this family, a judge has determined family visits are important. The children sense it too, and, given an opportunity and the right space, mom can take big steps toward a healthy, happy family.

Help CAPS provide the right space for families to learn how to be the best family they can be.