To the Editor:
"Why are so many young people out at questionable hours doing questionable things?"
"The well being of Craig's young people lies with the parents."
Both of the above are observations made in a recent editorial. I think one can look no farther than the Craig Daily Press and their recent series on methamphetamine use to find a partial answer. How many of our area youth have home situations that are anything but stable, with either drug addicted or alcoholic parents?
Even kids from wonderful homes can make mistakes and get involved with drugs and alcohol. Sometimes parents have a difficult time communicating with their youth.
The recent closing of Frontlines will leave a void, but in actuality the void was created when the young couple who started Frontlines were asked to step down. This young couple had a real connection with youth. I know several area youth whose lives were forever changed due to the influence of this young couple. Recently, I had the privilege of taking a group of young people to a rural California town on a mission trip. Two of the young men who gave personal testimonies about the changes they had made in their lives credited the influence of this young couple.
Why wasn't an appeal for volunteers made to other area churches or even Young Life? Could it be due to fact that such volunteers wouldn't fit into the denominational "box." The first I heard of Frontlines closure was in the Craig Daily Press.
Frontlines was started as an outreach to troubled youth, hence the name"Frontlines." Being on the frontlines of a battlefield takes great commitment and courage. The fact that troubled youth were present at Frontlines is indicative of the profound need for positive role modeling. Of course there were difficulties with Frontlines. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that Frontlines was located right next to a bar. Some of the drug paraphernalia could have originated there. There was a definite need for more volunteers to monitor the rear parking lot.
I am saddened to see the demise of Frontlines. Hopefully, an interdenominational replacement can be established.
I recently attended "Aquire the Fire" in Colorado Springs. Ron Luce hosted a workshop there for youth volunteers. He stated that, statistically, youth who hadn't made a commitment to Christ by the age of 18 were unlikely to ever do so.
The responsibility for the safety and well being of Craig's young people lies with the parents. Yes, but it is short-sighted to think that this happens in every case. Some youth are drowning in a world that seems to hold no hope. There are many who will turn to drugs and alcohol for an escape. Some will wind up in jail. Ultimately there will be a cost to society. Most youth need no more than acceptance and love to affect positive changes.
We, as a community, need to carefully consider the cost of caring for Craig youth against the long-term cost of caring for another dysfunctional adult in the prison system.