Tom Brosig created Center Circle so Mississippi had an alternative support system for kids heading down the wrong path. The idea was to give wayward kids a place to live, and a place to learn the proper way to interact with society.
Getting Center Circle up and running cost $1.7 million. Private investors paid for Center Circle's land and its five homes. Brosig said he got nothing from the state, even though the state would benefit from the program. In the end, he said that's why Center Circle couldn't survive.
"It's emotionally very hard," said Brosig. "And it's very frustrating because I'm angry."
Brosig truly believed Center Circle would help kids stay out of trouble. He said the progress made by four children assigned to the program proved Center Circle could be an asset. But Brosig also said bureaucratic red tape made it impossible for the program to work.
"I think I'm angry at a system that spends more time and effort justifying its own existence rather than focusing on the very child they're supposed to be helping," said Brosig.
In an office at the Markham Building, Center Circle volunteers sent out pictures from Center Circle's most recent fundraiser. They're being mailed to the people who attended the charity ball. The event cleared $40,000. But that wasn't enough to save Center Circle from closing on December 31st.
"We just don't have any more funding," said Brosig.
Two months ago, the state department of human services sent out a statement about Center Circle. It said DHS supports the efforts of all community partners that work to ensure that children in all 82 counties are safe, healthy and happy.
When Brosig put Center Circle together, he expected the state to contribute to the program. Brosig questioned whether the state ever had plans to financially support the eight to 14 year old kids sent to his north Harrison County complex. "They have not supported us," said Brosig. "They haven't turned our phone calls. They haven't been there for a community care giving organization that reached out to do things the proper way."