“The kids at first come into the space and may feel so intimated by it, but then they grow in confidence and see they can actually accomplish something. It’s so concrete that they can look at it and say, ‘I can’t believe I made that.’ That in itself changes their perspective on how they’re moving in the world.”Tyler DeLong, Co-ordinator, Oesterlen Life Skills Center
In the LSC, therapy meets hands-on skills development as youth make important connections when they participate in unique programs involving a Woodworking Studio; Therapy Garden; Community Resilience Garden; Print, Media, Digital Arts Design and Music Production Studio; Creative Arts Space; Greenhouse Engagement, 4H and more!
However, the building that houses the Life Skills Center is in need of important improvement. Originally built as a residential cottage in 1958, known as the “Overlook Cottage,” and repurposed for the LSC in 2014, the physical structure, while still sound, requires significant repairs, renovations, and renewal in order to serve the youth of our community.
We have a tremendous opportunity before us. The state of Ohio has committed $500,000 in the form of a forgivable loan, provided we raise $250,000, and use the space as proposed for 30 years. In essence, every gift is being matched 2:1!
More importantly, your gift will provide an innovative and safe space for clients through the Counseling Center, Treatment Foster Care, and the Residential Campus, to develop a positive self-image, a sense of dignity, and a strong belief in one’s abilities and gifts as they progress in their treatment programs. You will also help to provide a foundation for self-determination, team-building, and community integration.
“Why am I passionate about this project? We are here to give kids and families the place and space and resources to heal and get back on track. The youth we serve have experienced so much in their life. This is EXACTLY whom Jesus wants us to serve – I can envision no better use of my time and financial resources while I am on this earth!”— Pastor David Buchenroth, Oesterlen Board Member & LSC Appeal Chairperson
The LSC offers a turning point in the lives of those we serve.
For at-risk youth, many of whom have experienced trauma,
the struggle to deal with their past pain and still see goodness and beauty in the world and in themselves is felt deeply.
Life Skills Center programs work to heal this rupture by cultivating the capacity within every human to create —not only practicing valuable skills needed for everyday life, but also nurturing individual growth, community responsibility, critical problem solving, and an enduring sense of accomplishment. We now need to invest in the space to continue to support the healing of the most vulnerable among us.