An important facility that provides temporary housing for local youth is set to reopen after being closed since 2012.

The Jefferson County Youth Shelter, operated by Pathways Youth Shelter & Family Services, will reopen as a temporary housing facility for local youth later this month.

Misguided actions at the state level forced the local shelter to close. As is the case in many government decisions, money was the driving force behind the decision to close.

Now it's time to look forward. Local and state officials have discussed local needs, and the shelter has been relicensed.

There are many children in our community who need temporary shelter for a variety of reasons - poor behavior and unstable family conditions - are just two reasons.

The shelter will serve children ages 10 to 18. There will be 12 beds available. Stays can be up to 21 days with longer periods possible for some children.

Pathways has done good work in our community. From creating Safe Place locations to providing seminars on a variety of issues, the organization is vital to our community's well-being.

Operating the shelter is expensive. The annual budget is about $250,000.

Local contributions have played an important role in funding Pathway programs. That continued support will be needed if those services are to continue.

The shelter will host an open house March 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. The first day of operations is tentatively set March 17.