Arrowhead Youth and Family Services looking to market nationwide and make repairs to campus

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COAL VALLEY, Illinois - Arrowhead Youth and Family Services has been around since the 40's helping youth get back on the right track.

"I didn't have the will to live or anything and then one day I got caught stealing from cars," said Ben, resident.

Ben is 16-years-old and has been at Arrowhead for four months, looking to change his life around along with the 23 other residents there.

"I live by, be somebody nobody thought you could be and I just want to prove people that I can become a success," said Ben.

The campus isn't getting enough youth to keep up with finances.

"Part of it's need and part of it's financing, you know the state of Illinois is not taking care of its finances well and most of the money to finance a lot of the kids that come here," said Dr. Chester Lien, CEO.

It costs the private, non-profit around $200 a day to support each resident, that money comes from schools and the county.

"Our operations money all comes back from direct billing from the agencies that place the youth here," said Lien.

Lien said incarceration rates among juveniles are down which is leading to fewer referrals and had them on the edge of closing.

"We have a lot of underutilized space, the decisions been made to continue doing what we do," said Lien.

Leaders at Arrowhead are not going to let that happen.

"To utilize the best of that space better, the idea is to go and do a major marketing campaign, go national, with the same type of youth that we have here right now," said Lien.

They are taking some risks and spending savings money to make much needed repairs to campus.

"We're talking about some of the heating stuff in there, just some general up keep, a lot of plumbing work that hasn't been taken care of, "said Lien.

In hopes to keep the doors open and give other youth a chance to turn their life around.

"This is a very good program, it helps you open your eyes to your past mistakes and helps you learn from them and move from them," said Ben.

Arrowhead is also looking to the local community for help in financing their repairs and they hope to have the repairs done and start a national campaign by August, 2018.

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