Layton, UT – Dec. 8, 2023 – Celebrating the establishment of Utah’s first elementary support center, Ogden School District and the Ogden School Foundation held a grand opening ceremony for their family support center at Odyssey Elementary School on Dec. 7.
“This wonderful space will mean the world to so many of our families,” said Sonja Davidson, Odyssey Elementary School’s principal. “I am so grateful to everyone who was involved in the creation of the Odyssey family support center.”
Prominent dignitaries from across the community attended the event, including Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell and Utah House of Representative members Rosemary Lesser, Ryan Wilcox and Katy Hall. The Weber County Chamber of Commerce also came to cut the ribbon.
While there are similar locations for teens across the state, the Ogden family support center is the first to focus on children and families experiencing homelessness. Located at Odyssey Elementary School, the space is equipped with a kitchen, bathrooms, couches and laundry appliances.
During development, Ogden School District received contributions from organizations in the private sector, including Young Ford of Ogden and the Young Caring for Our Young Foundation.
“We have a passion for serving the needs of the community, so when we heard about this facility, we couldn’t wait to help,” said Jake Talbot, Young Ford of Ogden’s general manager. “We’ve loved working with the great people at Ogden School District and becoming a part of this process.”
The dealership delivered their donation to Odyssey Elementary School on Dec. 5 — assembling and organizing items for the facility.
“Ogden has been nationally recognized as being both one of the best places to live in the United States but more importantly one of the most charitable communities in the United States when it comes to volunteer hours given and charitable donations,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Those both go hand-in-hand. Private groups lead the charge in that and we are so grateful for our local businesses and nonprofits that lead by example and give where they live. We will continue to work hard with them all and celebrate their involvement and amazing contributions. We can’t thank them enough. The Young family has been a huge part of that and we are exceedingly grateful.”
Both the Young Automotive Group’s dealerships and the Young Caring for Our Young Foundation have donated to similar facilities in the past. Earlier this year, Young Powersports donated $20,000 and 400 backpacks filled with living essentials to the Davis Education Foundation — helping to keep teen drop-in centers open during summer.
“As a foundation, our initiatives are centered around providing for children that are going through difficult times,” said Tami Olsen, the Young Caring for Our Young Foundation’s director. “We understand the needs of children experiencing homelessness, and we enjoy working with our dealerships and other phenomenal organizations to tackle the issues they face.”
The Ogden School Foundation has announced that construction has started for teen centers in Ben Lomand High, Ogden High and Ogden Technical High School.