Crossroad Child & Family Services Renovates to Serve Needs of Midwest Communities, Now and into the Future

A birds-eye rendering of the Welcome and Treatment Center.

The signs of change are everywhere at UCC-related Crossroad Child & Family Services in Fort Wayne, Ind. Empty spaces indicating recent building razings, temporary fencing, and more than just a little dirt are the indicators of a transformation that is well underway. On Oct. 29, Crossroad will officially launch its campus’ new vision with a groundbreaking ceremony from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Most immediately, the multi-phase renovation plan includes a new Treatment and Welcome Center, as well as a new residential building. Both are slated for completion in 2020.

“In our new Treatment and Welcome Center, we will have a wing dedicated to therapy, including therapy suites, treatment conference rooms, a sensory and play therapy room, a group therapy room, and a separate waiting area,” says Kyle Zanker, chief development officer.  “One of the greatest benefits of this space is that it is accessible and replaces spaces from a 1917 building and a 1950 building with lots of steps, no elevator and expensive maintenance! Individual child therapy, group therapy, and family therapy will all be positively impacted by this new facility.”

The addition of the sensory room is particularly exciting for the Crossroad staff, as it will offer resources especially for children who not only have mental health challenges, but also are on the autism spectrum. “The sensory tools will help facilitate exploration, self-awareness, life skills, self-control, and more,” Zanker adds.

In the new center’s other wing, executive offices will be united in one building for the first time. “Currently, the executive team is spread across four different buildings on different sides of the [25-acre] campus,” says Zanker. “It will allow for better, quicker, and more frequent communication.”

An additional outdoor space between the two wings will be dedicated to a sensory garden with a walkway and outdoor musical instruments interspersed along the path.

Crossroad, a nonprofit treatment provider for emotionally troubled youth and their families, offers residential and non-residential services. The new 15-bed residential building will enable Crossroad to serve additional children in intense residential services who currently are on a waiting list. This building will include therapy space, sensory space, an open living area, and individual bedrooms. Outside will be a large, open green space for recreation, group activities, exploring gardens, “or laying in the grass to look at the clouds,” says Zanker. “There will be additional outdoor musical instruments and a playground in this space.”

Crossroad was opened in 1883 as an orphan’s home. Following World War II, it started shifting its services to adapt to the changing needs of the community, still housing its services in some of the original buildings.

“Crossroad has delivered excellent outcomes in 70- and 100-year-old buildings that are less functional and nice looking than other places,” says Randall J. Rider, president and CEO, who adds that with today’s consumers having more voice when seeking services, accessibility and appearance matter. “The Crossroad Board moved forward with faith and commitment to ensure our kids and families are served in safe, accessible, and more energy-efficient spaces better-suited to meet their needs. The Board’s action — with the church’s help — ensures that Crossroad is well-equipped for its next 136 years of service.”

The new buildings are the next step in providing the services most needed in the Midwestern communities Crossroad serves. Future phases of the renovation include repurposing an old natatorium into a new kitchen, dining hall, and meeting space.

“These new spaces are about making sure children and families get the help they need in the most accessible, most efficient ways,” Zanker says. “We believe in offering the highest level of services, and that means making sure our spaces are also high in quality, welcoming and equipped for our mission.”

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