Center Circle Needs Some Assistance - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

ORGANIZATION HELPS TROUBLED CHILDREN

Center Circle Needs Some Assistance

A one-room trailer is where Kristen Tusa teaches four Center Circle children. Since arriving here in March, the kids have increased their reading and their math skills. Tusa said the kids "have an interest in learning and reading, which is good."

Judges sent the troubled kids to Center Circle so they could learn the proper way to live their lives.

Tom Brosig came up with the Center Circle concept. So far, he's put $1.7 million of his own money into the Harrison County facility.

"What we tried to create at Center Circle was our town, Main Street USA," Brosig said. "Houses in a residential setting surrounded by nature and animals and peace and quiet rather than ghetto boom boxes and traffic and drive by shootings."

When Brosig spoke to the Orange Grove Lyman Chamber of Commerce, he bragged about Center Circle's early successes. But he also said its future was in jeopardy. And Brosig blamed that on red tape at the state department of human services.

"I've never been so frustrated with a bureaucracy that doesn't seem to want to move forward," he said.

Brosig built Center Circle expecting the state agency to help pay for children it put into the program. But the state has only sent four kids here. And it's only paying Center Circle $30 a day per child to rehabiliate the kids.

That's put Center Circle in a bind. Administrators say they're not helping enough kids. And they're not getting enough money to help the one's who are here. So Brosig is asking the private sector to help reform juvenile delinquents. Brosig told the chamber group, "Our goal is to put a strong kid back with a stronger parent so that the siblings never hit the system."

The idea is that after one to two years of round the clock Center Circle counselling, a troubled kid can return home and be a star.

Representatives of the Mississippi Department of Human Services were told about Tom Brosig's comments about the lack of state funding for Center Circle. A statement e-mailed to WLOX News said the department is making referrals to Center Circle on a continuous basis. And it plans to have an ongoing relationship with the organization.

by Brad Kessie

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