The Bridge - Harlingen Outreach Center Aims at Keeping At Risk Youth Out of Trouble

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POSTED: Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 9:34am

UPDATED: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 10:52am


The Bridge – Harlingen Outreach Center is now officially open after a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday morning.

City and county leaders and supporters of the outreach center, along with law enforcement, and the organizations that will provide support - proudly showed off the building.

Something of this nature has been in talks for about two years now. Community leaders in Harlingen and throughout the county have wanted to find a way to help youth and young adults at risk and rehabilitate those that have already made some bad decisions.

"We currently have about 700 to 800 kids that are adjudicated on probation we have almost one thousand that are going through the system and then there's literally hundreds of hundreds that are basically on the fence," said Chief Tommy Ramirez from the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department.

The goal is to ensure the these juveniles never make it to the adult justice system.

Services range from drug and alcohol counseling to continuing education. Those are, however, just a few of what The Bridge will offer these young people.

"If you put them all together it's almost impossible for a young adult to not, if they're really wanting to get their lives turned around, for them not to be successful," said Chief Ramirez.

The outreach center will provide assistance to those who have been referred to their office, but young people can also voluntarily come in to take advantage of the mostly free services. The Bridge – Harlingen Outreach Center is located at 1102 Commerce St. in Harlingen.


 

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I attended this grand opening with a friend of mine. It's a fantastic program and will be a invaluable addition to the Valley. My hope is that it expands to other cities, states and even countries -- I overheard one staff member mention that the President of France sent a delegation to review the program. I only hope OUR president has the same inspiration to implement more programs like these!

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