Young Men United is seeking to sub-lease a portion of Bernard School for an effort to assist children taken into foster care.
My Father’s Closet is seeking to establish permanent residency in Warren County. Young Men United has offered a portion of Bernard School. A nonprofit organization that works with Upper Cumberland Foster Closet, the local closet would provide clothing, shoes, hygiene products, food, toys, school supplies, etc. for children taken into foster care who lack those necessary items. “Our mission statement is building character for life,” said Young Men United president Donald Crisp. “Any way that I can help a child, I’m going to step up and do it. If it were up to me, they’re already be moved in. Children are the future of Warren County and these children are having a rough time. Whatever we can do to help, we need to do it.”
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a 20-year lease of the Bernard School property to Young Men United in 2019. However, it included no provisions for the organization to sub-lease.
“I am the director of My Father’s Closet,” said Deitra Whiles, who, along with Lacey Jones, went before the city board on Tuesday to request permission. “Our current location for My Father’s Closet is a storage unit that we quickly have outgrown.”
As relayed by Whiles to the board, the local effort began with a Facebook post with Whiles requesting donations of gently used items to benefit two specific children taken into foster care. The outpouring of support, coupled with requests from the Department of Children’s Services for any excess items, and the kind gesture transformed into My Father’s Closet with Whiles and Jones spearheading the effort.
City officials voiced no hesitation in allowing the sub-lease. However, being a written lease between the city and Young Men United, the change must follow proper procedure: consideration by the city’s Building and Grounds Committee and any changes to the actual lease agreement approved by the full Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
“I think they will approve it, once they get all their ducks in a row,” said Crisp.
A meeting of the city’s Building and Grounds Committee will be set to consider the measure.