Local Teen Center on the Move

By Jim Madalinsky

Published 06/25 2014 04:45PM

Updated 06/25 2014 05:54PM

ALTOONA - The teen center on 6th Avenue in Altoona has been around for years, but their director says she doesn't think a lot of people know about what they offer. With a new building she's hoping that changes soon.
The teen center and shelter in Altoona helps about one hundred kids each year., including 17 year old Raphael.
“There was some family tension. My parents and I were yelling and I just thought I needed a place to go,” Raphael says.
Raphael spent three days and two nights at the shelter last year.
“They were really cool. You got to talk to the counselors and you could talk to the other people there,” Raphael says.
The shelter works with teens ages 12 to 17 who may need a place to stay or even a place to vent.
“We provide meals, we provide group therapy. We provide some coping skills to help them learn the skills they need to address whatever is going on in their lives,” Lisa Hahn, Family Services Inc, Executive Director says.
And now they're hoping to do more. Family Services Inc. recently purchased a building at the intersection of 17th Street and 6th Avenue.
It's nearly three times the size of their current center, and in much better location, right across the street from the Altoona Junior and Senior High School.
“We know that the kids in this neighborhood need the services and now they can come to us easily,” Hahn says.
And Raphael says it's something any teen that may be struggling should consider.
“You know it really put things into perspective that I do have a pretty good life and there are kids who need help like this,” Raphael says.
Family Services Inc. is hoping to move into the new building this fall, but they need about 300 thousand dollars worth of renovations.

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