Methodist Home to break ground on $15 million Jessamine facility

BY VALARIE HONEYCUTT SPEARS vhoneycutt@herald-leader.com

The Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children & Youth will break ground July 18 on a $15 million campus in Nicholasville for abused, neglected or abandoned children.

The program is moving from the Woodford County location where it has been since the 1930s. The new campus will feature residential facilities for 20 teens ages 12 to 17, paddocks for equine therapy and an on-campus school staffed by Jessamine County Schools alternative teachers, said Melinda Ryles-Smith, Vice President of Advancement. The new building will include offices for expanded community services.

“We are expanding,” Ryles-Smith said. “We are going to continue to do residential, but we have a vision for going into all the counties in the state, working with families in their homes and helping stabilize those homes so hopefully things don’t keep escalating where the child has to be removed. Sometimes it’s just a lack of resources.”

“For those children for whom removal is the best alternative, we will be able to provide a residential program in state-of-the-art facilities,” said Ryles-Smith.

Methodist Home officials say that more than 47,000 Kentucky children are reported abused, neglected and abandoned each year. Of those, 7,000 are subsequently removed from their homes because of imminent danger. The Methodist Home program serves those families through both residential and community services. The programs offer a safe environment for the most severely abused and neglected, and independent living for those aging out of state custody who could otherwise be homeless.

“Our services include a variety of programs such as in-home crisis intervention services, independent living, home monitoring, youth substance abuse program, adoption,” and emergency residential, and residential treatment, said Ryles-Smith.

In 2012, the nonprofit corporation purchased 30-plus acres at 1115 Ashgrove Road in northern Jessamine County for $915,000 from David and Alta Marshall, according to Herald-Leader archives. The property is just south of Brannon Crossing shopping center off U.S. 27.

The children at the Methodist home are referred by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the family courts, and private referrals. They are treated for trauma related to the issues that caused their removal from their homes.

After spending four to nine months at the Methodist home, they go home if it’s safe, enter foster care, go to live with other relatives or transition to independent-living apartments in Lexington

The new campus will include:

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/education/article88497522.html#storylink=cpy
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