History of CES

In the mid-1990's the Junior League of Fort Smith asked the initial question, “What happens to our children when they must be removed from their homes?” Their study revealed the sobering conclusion that local children in crisis were being taken to shelters in northwest sectors of the state.

The Fort Smith Children’s Emergency Shelter opened its doors to the homeless children of our community in October 1997. It is the only DCFS-approved emergency shelter serving Sebastian County.

Board of directors


Chuck Stanick

Vice President
Kevin Crawford

Lianne Forsey

Board Members

Cheryl Anderson
Brent McGruder
Tony Rice
Rodney West
Christy Williams (Jr. League)
Rita Young

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About CES

The Fort Smith Children’s Emergency Shelter is the city’s only provider of shelter and care for homeless boys and girls, age 6 to 17.    The children we serve have been removed from their family homes through no fault of their own.  Most have been the victims of abuse or neglect.  Others are the children of parents who, for a variety of reasons, can not 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, or 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.

Our Funding

Approximately 60% of our funding comes from DHS, State and Federal grants.  For the remaining 40% of our costs we seek contributions in the form of private grants, awards, and donations.

The Fort Smith Children’s Emergency Shelter has operated in good standing with industry and government guidelines since its inception in September 1997.  All required safety and industry inspections are current and in good standing.  Staff members are required to comply with Licensing Requirement as set forth by the Division of Children and Family Services. Staff and administrative positions are filled by persons who meet the State of Arkansas’ licensing requirements.

Non-Discrimination Policy

In accordance with Federal law and U. S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.