A group in Evansville opens another holder home to better serve the community. Sunday evening’s dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony celebrated the final stages of construction for a new life for some boys in the tri-state who often come from broken homes.
After two long years of planning and executing, the United Methodist Youth Home’s director, Travis Johnson says it didn’t come easy. Johnson says, “It took a lot of prayer, a lot of going out and meeting people. A lot of just building connections and helping people realize what we’re doing here. A lot of people don’t even know we exist.” The program has been around since 1979, serving young people between the ages of 10 and 21 but to this very day, the numbers of neglected young adults are still staggering. Johnson adds, “According to Indiana Youth Institute, about 26,000 kids in our state are abused and neglected every year. They take that number, break it down that’s another one child, every twenty minutes.”
Johnson says a counselor and a therapist will always be available to the boys who are in need. The organization hosts a variety of programs including intervention, residential day treatment and an independent living skills program. Therapist Megan Knies says, “Empowering them to know that they don’t have to make the same choices that mom, dad generations their families have made they don’t have to resort to not going to you know they are created for better in this world and to invest in the community.”
However, the resounding message is that there is still a lot more to be done. Johnson says, “In 2016, we’ve served 52 kinds in our residential program but we had to turn away 59 unfortunately so there is a huge need in our state. Especially with recent legislation that was passed just to help our kids and give them more space to recover from life’s trials.”
The boys will be all moved in the next two weeks pending final inspections from the state. The United Methodist Youth Home plans to build another holder home for its girls program in the upcoming years.