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Ouachita Children’s Center is the only emergency shelter for youth in Garland County. Last year OCC served over 550 youth through our 24 hour shelter or community outreach programs. The average length of stay in our 18 bed shelter was 37 days. The typical youth is age 14 and in the 9th grade. Without OCC services, many young people would have no choice but to spend weeks to months in incarceration or in very troubling living situations. Working in close partnership with the Juvenile Courts of Garland and Clark County, 8 different school districts and several mental health services, OCC makes a real difference for the lives of many youth AND often their families too. Many youth are provided the services and support they need in or near their home community and thus diverted from more costly and less effective incarceration. Prevention/early intervention has not only been proven to have positive impact on youth, they are also proven to be less costly for taxpayers in the long run.