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Mended Reeds opening group home

A home for teenage boys in foster care may soon open in Ironton, fulfilling part of the mission set by Mended Reeds.

Thursday, August 23, 2001

A home for teenage boys in foster care may soon open in Ironton, fulfilling part of the mission set by Mended Reeds.

Mended Reeds is an agency that provides both foster care and adoption services from a "distinctly Christian" view, said agency director David Lambert. He said the agency was designed in three phases – first, to start an agency that provides foster care and adoption and train foster parents in an "Christian perspective."

Currently, the agency has 8 children in foster care and the group is arranging the first adoption soon. The group home will then bring the second phase of the agency’s development forward. The home, Lambert explained, will provide a structured environment for "typical children" in foster care.

The agency is looking at the Shady Brook property located at 803 Vernon Street to develop the home.

He said the home, a Victorian-style property built around 1890, will be completely restored to its original condition. He said the agency is using the help of the Ohio Historical Society to restore the building with original materials to maintain the home’s "Queen Anne" style architecture.

Although the outside of the home will be restored with paint and wood, inside the home is where the lives of children will be restored. He said the group home is specifically designed to provide teenage boys without family support the skills needed in life. He said the boys will learn job skills, receive an education in the public school system, and learn the basic skills needed in life, such as cooking, cleaning and how to handle finances.

"They will get the skills they need to survive as adults," Lambert said.

Lambert said the program is unique because there is no other facility like this agency in Southeastern Ohio offering this type of service.

Lambert said $200,000 is needed to purchase the home and get the program up and running. He said the agency is looking for both monetary donations and skilled craftsmen willing to donate their time and skills to renovate and restore the home to its original style.

Lambert said the agency has set an aggressive timeline in the development of the home. Lambert said he would like to see the home running by early next year. He said there is a "sense of urgency" in opening the home and the group is trying to raise the funds needed quickly.