FORT SMITH (KFSM)-- In June 2015, all of the children living at the Fort Smith Boys Shelter were removed after a child called DHS and made allegations against some of the staff.
Eight months later the shelter has a new director with big plans for the future.
“I certainly want them coming here and feeling safe and being happy and proud of where they're at,” executive director Eddie Donovan said. “There were some things that were honestly in disarray that needed to be done. We needed to paint, we needed to fix the floor, we needed to fix some broken beds, stairways and some things, and we've done a lot of that.”
Donovan said even though they have done a lot of work, the work is still not quite finished.
“We're very proud of where we're at in the refurbishing of the building, but we're not finished yet,” Donovan said.
Project coordinator David Kelley said he don't want to rush the project because he wants to make sure the boys have a home.
“I know it's called the boys shelter, but it's more than that,” Kelley said. “They live here, have fun here.”
Kelley said he wants to make sure the boys enjoy their time at the shelter.
“Take them to baseball games, take them to the park, take them on trips to museums, zoos, just getting them out and doing whatever,” Kelley said.
Donovan said the project has been funded mostly by donations.
'”We've had some wonderful donations, but also some anonymous donations that have really helped,” Donovan said.
He said his main goal is to make the boys feel at home.
“It's going to be their home as long as they're here, and so I want them to feel that way,” Donovan said.
Donovan said he hopes to open the shelter in mid-February 2016, and it will be able to house 12 boys instead of 10.