FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- The Boys Shelter at the 5900 block of Zero Street has undergone quite the transformation during its renovating process.
"We have put a new floor in; we have painted every inch of the building from the doors to the walls," said executive director Eddie Donovan. "We have added new desks for the young kids in their rooms."
And those are just a few of the several improvements Donovan has overseen as the shelter has reopened its doors.
Children had been removed from the shelter in the summer of 2015, after a child had reportedly called the Department of Human Services and made allegations against some of the staff.
The condition of the boys' home though was not in great shape, even at that time.
"The place was in dire need of renovation," Donovan said.
The director stated that the shelter never lost its license, despite the allegations, and that it could have opened soon after he was appointed as the director in December 2015.
Even though the shelter had been greatly renovated by January 2016, Donovan and the boys shelter board wanted to complete the project before officially reopening its doors.
"The board gave me the opportunity to do that so even over the last couple months we could have opened," he said. "But we made the decision: 'Let's get finished before we do that.' "
Donovan stressed the importance of having a local shelter, as some children are often faced with being moved a significant distance away.
"Many of the kids in Sebastian, Franklin and Crawford counties, and local areas have to be transported across the state for adequate housing when something has gone awry with the family," he said. "If we have 12 beds here, there is just no reason to have to do that."
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