TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — On the corner of 14th and Locust, one organization is working to provide a glimpse of hope and happiness.
On Friday, the Ryves Youth Center will have been open for 39 years. It gives children a place to receive many things, including a mentor program and help with course work.
“Achievement, especially for children think I think is an important thing for them to experience,” John Etling, Agency Director for Terre Haute Catholic Charities, said. “It gives them a greater sense of self worth and esteem and when they’re successful, I think it tends to spill into other areas of their life.”
Another Catholic Charities program is their “Christmas Store”. The store provides coats, clothing items and undergarments to ensure everyone has a special holiday.
“I think the outgrowth of a few individuals here in our community that recognized what this neighborhood faces in terms of challenges,” Etling said. “We have a lot of families that are at or below the poverty line.”
Over the last 40 years, their soup kitchen has served a meal every day of the year. A meal that helps a lot of families on a daily basis.
“Early on when the COVID started happening, we had a young man that lives in the neighborhood here who’s 10 years old,” Etling said. “He would come pick up the food for the entire household. it would range anywhere from seven to 10 meals. I think that speaks to the survivor instincts of the people who lives in the community.”