Minnesota Community Partner

As a local professor and medical ethicist working for the past 10 years at regional Southwest MN colleges and universities, and as a mom of three, I know that many young people in our region struggle with abuse, trauma, drug addiction, and self-destructive impulses. I also know that in Southwestern Minnesota we care about one another. So I was surprised, as perhaps you will be, to learn that we lack a local certified residential placement center that can help young people struggling with mental health get their lives on track. Because of this, at least 30 children from Southwestern MN last year sought mental health treatment far from their family homes and sometimes out of state. This not only makes it harder for young patients to achieve well-being, but burdens families who need to travel long distances to visit and offer support. Many young people living in Southwest MN are grappling with serious mental health challenges, and because local access to quality residential health care can make a real difference, I am reaching out today to ask for your help in supporting a community initiative to construct a local mental health residential youth treatment center called A Caring Place.

First, let me tell you a little bit about the visionary and director of this project, Mr. Jerry Bottelberghe LPC. Mr. Bottelberghe is donating the land for the center and as a licensed professional counselor will serve as its primary facilitator. He became aware of the dire need for quality mental health facilities for rural youth after counseling them for over 4 years out of his practice in Minneota. In addition to his experience as a therapist, he has four years of experience as a Child Abuse Coordinator for Pathways Treatment Center, 10 years experience as a local bus driver, and over 30 years experience in scouting. In these capacities he has firsthand awareness of the need for a local youth mental health residential center and has been working closely with community partners to determine how best to meet it. This is also not the first community project initiated by Mr. Bottleberghe–he recently donated a home that provides safe housing for local victims of domestic violence served by Women’s Rural Advocacy Program, and he knows how to help a community help itself. In collaboration with mental health partners, law enforcement, clergy, and an independent advisory board, Mr. Bottelberghe plans to construct A Caring Place as a state certified, residential care center for troubled adolescent youth that will reduce the need for distant or out-of-state placements.

Now let me tell you a few details about the project and what will be done with your investment. A Caring Place will be a state certified, residential care center providing a safe therapeutic space for up to 15 adolescents, aged 13-18, located in Minneota, MN, which in addition to residential housing will offer counseling based on a communal model. Each resident will have their own private room, access to laundry and sex segregated showers, and shared responsibility for the upkeep and self-regulation of the center. The facility will not only save the cost of placing youth out of the region, it will more importantly strengthen Southwest MN families and communities by offering vital life skills and mental health residential services here, nearer to where we all live.

The total cost of the project, working with a state certified architect and builder, is approximately $2.4 million. Investors can contribute at varying levels starting at $10,000 shares, and will receive a 1% variable return every six months as tied to the federal reserve rate. Donated funds are to be held in a designated “residential treatment center” account at Bank of the West, overseen by a certified public accountant and auditing firm, who will issue donors a detailed annual financial report that is transparent and digestible. Especially generous donors can leave their legacy by procuring naming rights to one of the rooms in A Caring Place. After meeting a 1.4 million start-up threshold, the timeline for the construction of this center is 9 months. With the generous gifts of donors like yourself, the center can be fully functional by 2023. Once operational, it will be staffed with licensed professional counselors and will serve and be funded by the Region 8 counties of Southwest MN—including but not limited to Lyon, Redwood Falls, Lincoln, and Yellow Medicine. The project is being planned in collaboration with Southwestern MN Human Services, and XXX. Several letters of support for “A Caring Place” have been filed by these agencies, and you can find them as well as a complete prospectus at: www.Jerry’sTherapy.

In southwestern Minnesota, we take care of one another. So let’s not witness one more youth suicide, or allow teens and their families to suffer apart and afar as they seek mental well-being. With your help we can make A Caring Place a reality. Please donate today!

Dr. Maureen Sander-Staudt, PhD
Ethicist, Associate Professor
Southwest Minnesota State University; Minnesota West Community College

& Secretary for A Caring Place
Adolescent Residential Treatment Center
Minneota, MN