YUMA, Ariz. – A stark difference from the typical holding cell…Yuma County Juvenile Detention Center has created a first-of-it’s kind space for at-risk youth. The center saved money by converting an existing detention pod into what is known as the hope pod. Director Tim Hardy says, “So it doesn’t even have to be a child that’s involved in our system. this is something that’s for the community. And what we’ve seen so far is parents are really taking advantage of this because now they know that there’s a resource that they can go to and they can get help immediately.
The hope assessment center is decorated to provide comforts of home. This relaxes teens and gives one-on-one time to talk through issues. The hope-pod opened it’s doors to the public two months ago, allowing law enforcement, parents and teens themselves to come to a safe environment for help.
“The traditional pod is very very jail-like and has a kind of dull feeling. we wanted to ensure that juveniles coming to the center and families coming to the center would be able to tell the difference between a traditional Detention pod and the renovated pod that became the hope center,” said Grant Rader, the Hope Assessment Center supervisor.
Hardy considers the hope pod a preventative measure. It is one step families and law enforcement could take to stray kids and teens away from a path that could lead them to the secured detention center… and a life of crime. He says, “We have adopted a philosophy it’s called kids at hope. and it’s very basic, it’s just all children are capable of success no exceptions.”
A collaborative effort with yuma county brings counseling and other resources to the at-risk youth. The hope assessment center open twenty-four hours, seven days a week. Unlike the traditional detention center the hope pod’s doors are always open. If you or your child are in need of the service the center is located on 2440 W.28th St. in Yuma.