MASON CITY, Iowa – Four Oaks in Mason City is well-known throughout the state as an institute that’s helping kids with emotional and behavioral problems.
The facility they’ve been in was built back in 1929, known as the Hanford MacNider mansion.
The building is housing 42 kids right now, and those in charge say it’s getting a little worn out.
Leaders from across the state and locally gathered at the Mercy Medical Center’s West Campus to discuss a dream they’re hoping becomes a reality: a new facility for Mason City’s Four Oaks.
“Again it all boils down to the kids. We work with 42 kids that struggle with emotional problems and behavioral problems and they live in a facility now that just doesn’t have the kind of structure that we need to do good work with these kids,” said Mark Neibauer.
Neibauer is Director of Four Oaks and says the aging building they currently use is too small and overcrowded.
A new facility would have room for more psychological treatment options for troubled children and it would be up to state code.
Social Worker Sue Rebedeau works with these kids every day, and agrees a more modern building is needed and not just for them.
“My belief that as children and families become healthier our communities really become healthier and better places,” said Rebedeau.
Now, they’re hoping the community can help them raise the money they need.
One million will come from Four Oaks, and another million from the state.
State Senator Amanda Ragan helped to secure that funding.
“The reason behind that is that we see the incredible need for bringing children back to the state of Iowa and making sure they can be offered those services in the state,” said Ragan.
That leaves a million-dollar gap.
They hope to get that from those who care about the work they do.
“This need can be addressed in our community in a very effective way and I really hope that people find this as a valuable project because I certainly believe that it is,” said Rebedeau.
“We have to build some brick and mortar stuff, those are just realities but i want them to know that these kids need help and we are a program that provides that and we want to do it in a state of the art facility,” said Neibauer.
According to Neibauer, the Hanford MacNider building they are in currently will be restored back to its original look.
It will then become a community base service facility where Four Oaks offices and training will be.
They are hoping to have many of the details worked out by this fall along with a possible ground breaking.
By spring of next year they hope to have the facility being constructed.