TD Charitable Foundation assists Barium Springs
The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, is assisting Barium Springs to renovate a newly acquired 6,400 square foot building to house Hawthorn Heights, a runaway/emergency teen shelter program in Western North Carolina.
As the only runaway and homeless teen shelter west of Asheville, Barium Springs provides a safe-haven for boys and girls, ages 12 to 17, who suffer from abuse and neglect. In operation for 41 years, the current facility is no longer a safe or adequate environment for the level of at-risk youth served. Barium Springs has raised more than 52 percent of $617,000 needed for the project.
With a $1,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, as well as support from other North Carolina benefactors, the agency hopes to serve 50 youth ages 12 – 17 more effectively. The North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness reports that in the seven counties served by the shelter, between 1 and 10 percent of the population is homeless.
The state also ranks western North Carolina as having the highest number of child abuse and neglect cases, with Swain County holding the record of the most investigated abuse cases in the entire state.
At Hawthorn Heights, a shelter serving teens in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary, Barium Springs provided a safe, short-term residence with the hope that, whenever possible, the youth can be returned to a stable home.
Founded in 1891, Barium Springs provides a safe place to live for abused or neglected children through group homes, foster care and adoption, therapeutic education, and intervention services for children still living in the community. Barium Springs served approximately 3,000 children and families last year. Barium Springs has offices in Asheville, Bryson City, Franklin, and Sylva. It is headquartered near Statesville.