Children's trust fund awards $74,826.72 to OCC
Betty and Bobby Allison Ozarks Counseling Center is proud and grateful to announce an award of $74,826.72 from the Missouri Children’s Trust Fund for its Facility Improvement and Infrastructure Project.
In addition to brick-and-mortar projects, these funds will also provide play therapy supplies such as toys, art materials and furniture, as well as therapist training in EMDR, an effective treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The counseling center was selected from a field of 76 applicants reviewed by the CTF Board of Directors and Executive Director Emily van Schenkhof. More than $48 million in requests were received for less than $20 million in available funds.
Ozarks Counseling has specific plans for its award, including building improvements for our offices and child therapy spaces.
The counseling center is housed in the historic Day House, a National Register Historic property constructed in 1875, just 10 years after the Civil War. Occupying such a unique property brings unique challenges.
The original brick structure has stood the test of time for over 140 years. But time and weather take a toll. Tuckpointing the brick — removing old mortar and replacing it with new — will address moisture issues. Security lighting is on the menu, as are parking lot repairs and renovation.
The most unusual line item on the building improvements list? Squirrel-proofing.
As a Historic Register property, we must maintain the historic character of the building’s exterior. That means having wooden shake shingles on the mansard roof which contains the attic. But in addition to shake shingles we also have … squirrels.
Our campus has huge, mature trees and a variety of wildlife, especially birds and squirrels. Our squirrels are sleek, sassy, and can regularly be seen chasing each other around trees, peeking into the lobby through our skylight, and even “splooting” on the handrail by the entryway on hot days.
The squirrels are lively and amusing, and we enjoy them.
What we don’t enjoy is their chewing holes in the shake shingles, scrabbling around in the walls and ceiling, or, even worse, dying inside the walls, a thing that did actually happen a couple of years ago.
Battle Squirrel has doubtless been ongoing since the last shake shingle was placed in 1875. We will see if 21st century ingenuity can win the war!