Volunteers helping a child with homework at Cheryl’s Lodge.
Some children singing at Peace Camp.
Kids and volunteers at the Outreach Center.
In the mid-1970s, a group of parents, residents and community members in the Clifton Park area banded together and formed CAPTAIN – Community Action for Parents, Teens and Interested Neighbors. The group was formed to address issues affecting the adolescents of that era which included drug use, homelessness and teenage pregnancy.
More than three decades later, the group is bigger and more involved, and is still looking to those areas of concern. CAPTAIN remains a presence in the Clifton Park community and last year, the organization provided over 25,000 units of service, according to President Claire Brown. A unit ofservice is considered to be anything from a meal served, a bicycle or helping afamily in a crisis situation.
“Within the core values of the organization, it’s that it is ahand up, not a hand out,” said Brown.
CAPTAIN has many resources for those in need to call on, and perhaps one of the most successful programs is the youth shelter. Today, the shelter assists several children at different times of the year, depending on the need.
Shelter administrator Ricardo Phipps said that currently there are four children residing at the shelter. While there are countless success stories as a result of the organization’s ability to help, Phipps relayed onevsuch story about a 16-year-old girl who was at the shelter.
“She was living at home with her dad…they didn’t see eye to eyevand her mom was out of state. She wouldn’t go to school and had an attitude.vShe stayed with us for about 30 days and in that time we got her to startvattending school and helped her to find employment. We also helped her reconnect with her mom. A few months ago we heard from her and she’s doing welland even got her CMA (certified medical assistant),” said Phipps.