Kim Hinkle wants to offer homeless teens a safe place to stay, and she has chosen Lewisville as the place to do it.
Hinkle, co-founder and executive director of Journey to Dream, will lead a team of people in running Kyle’s Place. The youth home is set to open in the summer. It will provide emergency shelter and 24-hour care for teens 13 to 18 years old, regardless of why they are homeless.
“When we started thinking about this in 2013, Lewisville was the first city in Denton County to come to us and express an interest in making this happen,” Hinkle said. “It’s neat to be here and see it come full circle.”
“We want to ensure that these homeless youth do not grow up to become homeless adults,” Hinkle said. “This will prove the rule that housing the homeless costs far less than leaving them on the street.”
Kyle’s Place will be staffed with eight employees working three shifts per day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
“We believe that we have an obligation to take care of our most vulnerable, and there aren’t many who are more vulnerable than homeless teenagers,” Hinkle said.
On Monday, the City Council approved a zone change request from Light Industrial (LI) to Medical District (MD) for Journey to Dream – Kyle’s Place. The council also approved a Special Use Permit (SUP) and three variances including waiving the required 10-foot landscape strip along Archer, waiving the 50-foot driveway separation requirement and waiving the required screening hedge for parking facing a street.
G&A Consultants, LLC. is constructing Kyle’s Place for Journey to Dream. So far plans include adding a porch and extending the existing entrance foyer on the east side by more than 5 feet. Inside there will be 16 beds, an updated kitchen, living area, conference room and updated shower facilities.
Journey to Dream has partnered with Lewisville ISD since 2010. Since then the nonprofit has hosted school assemblies, peer support groups and community and social events.
“Over the course of the work we have done with youth, we have discovered a hidden epidemic of youth homelessness,” Hinkle said. “Kyle’s Place will be the only homeless shelter in Denton County for unaccompanied youth. We feel like this is much bigger than Journey to Dream. We feel like it’s a community that’s passionate about making their lives better for these children.”