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Personal Space

Rooms full of laughter

  • Sean Cayton

The sounds of child's play don't yet fill the rooms of the Colorado Springs ranch house, but KPC Kid's Place is almost ready for them.

Named after Kevin Patrick Caleum, a boy who died in 1999 of what the doctors described as the result of being shaken (see Independent cover story June 19, 2003), KPC Kid's Place will offer help to families who are at high risk of child abuse. Though the main purpose is to provide short-term care (up to 72 hours) for children aged 6 weeks to 6 years, the staff will also provide counseling for high-risk families.

With five bedrooms, rooms for quiet activity and play, a kitchen and four bathrooms, the nonprofit plans to serve around 100 children in its first year. Annette Blackhart, nursery coordinator, says their intent is to help parents by offering relief in potentially abusive situations -- and not to judge them. Admission is based on self-referral by the parents.

So far, locally owned companies, families and about 400 high school students from Wasson High, Coronado High, Fountain-Fort Carson High as well as the Boy Scouts, have donated money, furniture, toys and labor worth over $180,000.

Though KPC Kids' Place has met most state requirements, a planned April 30 opening is still in doubt, though the nonprofit plans to recruit qualified volunteers as staff members. "It's all a matter of raising money," said Blackhart. The organization, she said, is still short of $65,000 needed to open the nursery.

If you want to contribute or are a qualified child-care worker who is interested in volunteering, contact Blackhart at 442-6336 or at .

-- Sven Kittelmann

photo by Sean Cayton

KPC Kid's Place is a recipient of a grant from the Independence Community Fund, a charitable arm of the Independent. This is the third in a series profiling this year's seven recipient organizations.

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