Rawhide Youth Services Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony In FDL

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday for the new Rawhide Youth Services Counseling Center in Fond du Lac. The facility will offer traditional, equine and occupational therapies to both youth and families.  Keller, Inc. broke ground on Rawhide Youth Services’ new Fond du LacCounseling Center Dec. 21, 2020, located at U.S. highway 45 and County Highway K.

Heather Stern, Chief Development Officer said the goal with the new facility is to fully embed Rawhide into the community and “become a steady rock for the youth and families of Fond du Lac that are struggling.” The current facility (formerly the Free SPIRIT Riders location) will remain open for traditional and equine therapy. Temporary office spaces at 1020 S. Main Street, Suite D, in Fond du Lac will also be available for traditional therapy.

“We are so excited that Rawhide Youth Services is opening up a new facility in Fond du Lac,” said Joseph Braun, executive director of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation. “They provide such amazing support to our at risk, hurting, and depressed youth in our community. That need is even greater now with all the chaos that we have in our world.” Due to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation acquiring Rawhide’s current property for the expansion of Highway 23 and Rawhide’s growth to over 200 clients, the opportunity for a new location and building was perfect timing.

With six traditional therapy rooms and 12 horse stalls for equine-assisted therapy on 37 acres of land, the new facility will provide two equine arenas for multiple equine-assisted therapy sessions to take place simultaneously, and provide equine staff more room to manage the herd and give the horses adequate pasture land to roam. The five therapists at this facility will also continue providing services to the Fond du Lac school districts.

“Fond du Lac is an underserved community, and we’re excited to be filling in the gap for at-risk youth and their families,” said Tim Klunk, Rawhide’s chief program officer. “We’re supplying mental and behavioral health services in one convenient location to meet the youth where they’re at, whether it’s in their school or community.”

The building is expected to be completed by June and will continue offering individual, group, family, equine-assisted, and school-based therapies–with the added bonus of occupational therapy. “It’s been a powerful opportunity we’ve had from our introduction to the Fond du Lac community to the partners who have welcomed us and made it easy for us to serve,” said Danny Stone, Rawhide’s director of community & shared services. A grand opening celebration will take place in late-May or early June.