For nearly three decades, Jonathan’s Place has worked to provide a safe place for children in North Texas who have experienced abuse and neglect.
The nonprofit, which marks its 30th anniversary in October, has helped over 6,300 children and currently runs seven programs in support of its mission, including emergency shelters that serve children from birth to 18, residential therapeutic and living programs for girls and a runaway prevention program.
Jonathan's Place also provides foster care and adoption, and recently added two sex trafficking emergency programs.
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“A lot of children going through trauma are stuck," Jonathan's Place CEO Allicia Frye said. "They’re so busy trying to survive what they’re going through, that they’re not able to be the amazing person that they are."
Skylar Gardez was admitted into the Jonathan's Place emergency shelter when she was 14, Frye said. Now 20, Gardez is a graduate of the program.
“My life before Jonathan’s Place was very chaotic and lonely," Gardez said. "[I was] just really trying to survive on my own. Then, I got into foster care at Jonathan’s Place and learned a lot, like doing normal everyday things like making a bed."
Jonathan’s place also helped Gardez find her family in Veronica and Cee Gardez, which Skylar Gardez said has been life changing.
Having parents who love her has allowed Gardez to live a life where she can invest in her future by attending college, she said.
Gardez is also now a big sister — her parents have continued to adopt and foster other children.
“I knew it would impact her life and open up her world. The impact this has had with Skylar, the cycle has been broken with her,” Frye said.
Frye expressed that there are thousands of children who need foster care like Gardez, and foster parents are one of the nonprofit's biggest needs.
For more information about the organization and its mission, visit the Jonathan's Place website.