“Today we stand in this building because of the seeds that were planted by Fred and Clara Eckert some 45 years ago.”

John Harper, facility administrator for the Eckert Youth Home, addressed a large crowd on Monday, March 2, during the open house for the Eckert Foundation’s new residential treatment facility for youth dealing with addiction. The afternoon brought hundreds of visitors to the facility, including city leaders, law enforcement, and more to tour the newly renovated building and enjoy some refreshments before the afternoon’s ribbon cutting ceremony. New paint, carpet, furniture and other amenities were added to one of the Foundation’s buildings, creating space for eight youth to live and receive treatment.

“From a law enforcement standpoint, we’re very thankful for this.” A Williston police officer told the Herald. “This was very much needed here.”

Staff showed off the building’s improvements, such as the updated bedrooms and living area, giving those staying at the facility ample space to relax. The facility also includes an updated conference room and dining area, with the entire facility having the feel and look of a typical home. Visitors were impressed by the facility, which was opened to the public for one day only before programs begin.

“It’s so beautiful in here,” one visitor told Program Director Kerri Klein. “It’s fantastic. You guys should be very proud.”

Asked how it feels to finally have the facility open and offer these services to the area’s youth, Klein became visibly emotional.

“You can see how that feels, right?” Klein said, fighting back tears. “It’s pretty awesome. It’s been a lot of work, and it’s really cool to see it all come to fruition, and I can’t wait to see the kids here.”

“Someone said to me earlier today ‘I wish Fred and Clara Eckert could have seen this,’” Harper said. “Fred and Clara Eckert saw this already, and they knew that they would have a great impact just by doing what they believed God had called them to do.”

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