RACINE — A Racine couple recently opened a temporary shelter for Racine County foster children awaiting placement in a more permanent home.
On Nov. 9, Dr. Arletta Frazier-Tucker and Myron Tucker opened the Peace of Mind Shelter in their former home in West Racine. They moved out of the home and into a rental property in order to make room for the shelter, which assists foster youths between the ages of 10 and 17.
"Peace of Mind wants to be part of the solution by providing a safe, homelike environment to children in trauma," said Frazier-Tucker. "Above all else, we want vulnerable children and families to become stable and successful."
The couple wanted to help after adopting their son in 2007. He had spent his 10 years in the foster care system. Now 23, their son is a graduate of Carthage College and an Army veteran. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in political science.
"He often told us that he does not know where he would have ended up if we had not adopted him," Frazier-Tucker said.
The couple wanted to help more foster children, especially with the significant rise in children entering foster care and a decline in the number of licensed foster homes.
They began work on the shelter in February, receiving the necessary licensing and working with the county to get approval.
“We are grateful to have Peace of Mind to help youth transition to a permanent home," said Hope Otto, director of Racine County Human Services. "Their trauma-informed approach, mentorship and behavioral modification components to care are critical for the success of our youth.”
Frazier-Tucker is a professor of social work at Concordia University in Mequon with 30 years of social work experience. Her husband is a general manager for the Iron Skillet restaurant on Highway 20 in Yorkville.
Addressing a need
The shelter takes a hands-on approach to deal with foster children that come in with severe trauma. Their focus not only on the child but the entire family.
"The goal is to work with the whole family to try to reunite them," Frazier-Tucker said. "Piece of Mind is about family preservation."
Children receive trauma-informed care and wraparound support that focuses on their individual needs. The shelter also provides family-style meals, community outings, academic support, life-skills classes and enrichment programs.
Peace of Mind is licensed to house up to six children for between 30 and 60 days. In the fewer than two months since they have opened, they have had four children and expected their fifth child on Friday night.
The couple also assists young adults in obtaining job training through a collaboration with Willkomm Companies.
"It is all about being able to provide support to the whole family and make a difference in the kid’s life," Frazier-Tucker said.
To find out how to contribute to the Piece of Mind shelter, email Frazier-Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations are also being accepted at Frazier Family Support Services, 4019 Kinzie Ave.