KidsFirst Emergency Shelter

KidsFirst Emergency Shelter

Since 1998, the St. John’s Campus has provided emergency shelter services for Kent County boys and girls. Last year, 452 Kent County children, from newborns to 17, stayed for a short time in two comfortable homes, called “KidsFirst”. 


Always Open.
Each day battered and neglected children and adolescents are brought to KidsFirst’s door by public safety officers or Protective Services workers. They stay until a safe home can be found. KidsFirst serves nearly 600 children each year.

A Nurturing Staff.
Kids’ needs come first. Injuries and trauma are the first concern, followed by home-cooked meals, warm baths, clean clothing and even a teddy bear. Counselors are always ready to listen and give reassurance.

New Experiences.
During their stay, kids enjoy St. John’s 25-acre campus—including cookouts, bike rides, basketball, and crafts.

A Partnership.
The KidsFirst program is at the center of child welfare in Kent County—serving 600 abused and neglected kids each year, and partnering with the Kent County Department of Human Services and all other child welfare agencies serving the county.

You can help!
During their stay, kids attend plays, sporting events, concerts and festivals—sometimes for the very first time in their lives—thanks to donated tickets and passes. These new opportunities show children that the community values them and wants to contribute to their care.


For real stories of real kids who have been impacted by the KidsFirst emergency shelter, click here.