Construction begins on home for abused kids |

Construction begins on home for abused kids

by Sharlene Irete
Nevada Appeal News Service

About 100 people attended the ceremony to mark the beginning of construction on the Carson Valley Children’s Center, a 5,382-square-foot residence named “Austin’s House” as a tribute to Austin Kirby.

Austin’s grandmother, Patty Clark, who set up a foundation in his name to raise funds after the 15-year-old took his own life on Oct. 26, acknowledged all the people who helped make the children’s center a reality.

“It’s an incredible gift when we’re allowed to help with something so important – even when motivated by the loss of a child,” Clark said. “Thanks to the people of Douglas County and Northern Nevada who donated labor, materials, money and effort.”

Austin’s House will provide a safe home environment for up to 10 children from infants to age 17. It will supply the basic living necessities for these children including proper nutrition, hygiene, rest, nurturing, companionship, recreation and education.

The facility is designed for short-term placements of Douglas County youth in need of safe housing.

Judge Michael Gibbons said Austin’s House will help in the goal to reunite families.

“Children could be sent anywhere in Nevada (for foster care) and be separated from their brothers and sisters,” Gibbons said. “Now we’ll be able to keep kids in Douglas County so people here can support them.”

Terry Palmitier, on the children’s center board of directors, said it will take $600,000 to get the building built.

Plans are for the center to be completed by the end of the year.

“I always knew it would happen,” said Palmitier. “We have the greatest community. In the past, our kids have been sent elsewhere. But it’s our county, our problem – and now, our solution.”