New facility in Central Fresno offers professional support to kids dealing with traumatic events

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The daily calls can be heart-breaking, from domestic violence and gang activity.

Kids often see it all and carry the pain with them.

"Molestation, probably on average of every three days here in the city of Fresno," said Fresno Police Chaplain Rodney Lowery.

The Resiliency Center will be located at Fulton and Dudley.

He says chaplains have been identifying specific calls which could affect a child's mental health so they can take action.

"One, speak with the parents and inform them about trauma and what it does to a developing mind. Assess the child and then be a vehicle or a segue into counseling within a short window of time," Lowery said.

By the summer, the Resiliency Center in central Fresno, where the police chaplains work, will be able to offer counseling to kids in need.

They first focused on the city's 3,000 young runaways but realized many other kids are in need,

An upstairs space will allow room for young people to meet with licensed mental health professionals and maybe find a mentor.

"People are traumatized, and they haven't learned to recognize it. They don't have the coping skills to deal with it and when you don't, often you self-medicate," said Lowery.

Fresno Police chaplains spend a great deal of time on elementary school campuses talking to kids and reading books through RISE, the Resiliency in Student Education program.

They hope this pro-active approach will help give troubled kids hope.

The Chaplaincy has targeted several areas for a pilot program.

They run from California to Olive and Hughes to Peach covering southwest, central and southeast Fresno.
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