New Trauma-Informed Additions to Our Ozanam Campus

New Trauma-Informed Additions to Our Ozanam Campus

Exciting changes are happening on our Ozanam Campus this fall! Our On-Campus Living team has been hard at work creating interactive spaces for our youth, including a new library and redesigned sensory rooms.

The new library, opening October 4, features lounge seating, tables for studying, and plenty of books to fuel their imaginations. Team members and volunteer groups built bookshelves and arranged the space to feel welcoming and inviting. In August, Usborne Books hosted a book drive which received overwhelming, and we were able to add over 350 new books to our library!

"Books are such a great way to learn and be exposed to different things," says Shelia Rancatore, regional director of western Missouri. "Our youth will now be able to access the library each week to do activities and pick out new books to take back to the dorm with them. This experience wouldn't be possible without the amazing volunteers who provided the books and who staff the library while youth are using it."

Redesigned sensory rooms add another exciting addition to our campus. Our Expressive Arts team created new themes in the rooms, including galaxy and Mario Cart. The rooms feature soft seating, textured sensory walls, prompts to help with calming exercises, and a sensory box filled with scented putty, balls, rain sticks, an ocean drum, and a weighted blanket.

"The physical space is only one part of being trauma-informed, but it is such a big part," says Justin Horton, executive director of Missouri programs and services. "It's amazing how one's surroundings can improve people's thoughts, choices, and words. 

These additions are part of our preparation to become certified as a Quality Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) this October. QRTP is a new process for residential facilities in Missouri and helps ensure our team member's and youth's commitment to safety, choice, collaboration, empowerment, and trustworthiness. 

"Being trauma-informed is a journey," states Justin. "Right now, we are working on reviewing all policies, practices, and procedures to ensure we make all the necessary enhancements. Our residential program is committed to safety and trauma-informed care throughout this entire process!"

Learn more about our On-Campus Living Programs.