• 3015 South 14th Street,
  • Fort Smith, AR 72901
  • 479.783.0018

CES History

“What happens to our children when they must be removed from their homes?”


In the mid-1990’s the Junior League of Fort Smith asked this initial question–their study revealed the sobering conclusion that local children in crisis were being taken to shelters in northwest sectors of the state. Often this transfer would occue in the middle of the night, further traumatizing an already disturbed child. Additional stress  was put upon the children when they were removed from their school system and familiar settings.

Founded by the Junior League of Fort Smith, designed by The Hill Group, and built by Charles Mock, The Fort Smith Children’s Emergency Shelter opened its doors to the homeless children of our community in October 1997.

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Serving as Sebastian County’s only DCFS-approved emergency shelter for homeless boys and girls, the children served by the CES have been removed from their family homes through no fault of their own. Most are the victims of abuse or neglect, while others are the children of parents who, for a variety of reasons, cannot or will not care for them and keep them safe.

“These are our community’s children in crisis. They have been denied the opportunity to live their early years in safety among trusted adults, which should be every child’s birthright. Often their world is changed beyond recognition overnight by the actions of their families. They no longer have their own bed, their own neighborhood friends, or the love and support of those who should care most about them. In a real sense, their hope for a happy childhood has been taken from them.”

 Thank you for supporting the Children’s Emergency Shelter