ITHACA – While unruly and delinquent teen boys have had an alternative to juvenile detention through Michael’s Treatment and Resource Center, teen girls have not. That all could change if Amy Raynes gets her way.
Raynes, certified counselor, has joined forces with the National House of Hope to form House of Hope Dayton. House of Hope has been in existence for 30 years and has been praised by President Ronald Reagan who said, “The philosophy and example of the House of Hope, which receives no government funds, needs to be shared across our nation. Those that want to help disturbed teenagers should be able to know that there is a way and that way works.” Since opening in Orlando, Fla., 12 additional residential and non-residential Houses of Hope have opened across the country.
House of Hope is a non-denominational, Christian based organization that is based upon Biblical principles. These principles have been proven to provide both workable and successful solutions in restoring troubled teens and their families, resulting in these teens becoming solid citizens and effective, contributing members of society.
In order to become associated with House of Hope, Raynes has gone through a couple of years of intensive training with the organization. She is also going through training to be licensed with Job & Family Services (JFS).
House of Hope Dayton will accept girls between the ages of 13 and 17 years of age. The residential program is a 9-18 month program with four phases that help each teen to accept responsibility, respect authority and relate more effectively to peers and adults. Referrals can be made by the Juvenile Court, JFS, pastors and parents. The facility will be able to house 10 girls and outpatient counseling will also be available.
House of Hope provides Christian coaching and discipleship, parenting skills and workshops, family group therapy, family environment, living skills and activities and spiritual development. They will be working with a local school district for the residents’ educational needs.
Contrary to its name, House of Hope Dayton, Raynes would like to establish the residential treatment center in Darke County. She originally wanted to be in Dayton, but felt that putting the facility in a large city would cause more problems for her residents. She kept returning to Darke County and found a location in Ithaca, formed a board of directors and chose an administrator. The next step is to raise funds to purchase and rehabilitate the building.
They are currently looking at a vacant building in Ithaca that is three stories and 15,000 square feet. The first floor will have five offices for counseling and administrative staff, school room, and a small group/waiting room for both residential and non-residential services. The second floor will house up to 10 girls with four bedrooms for the teens and house parents, a kitchen, common area, two bathrooms and a laundry facility. The third floor is a multi-purpose room that will be used for chapel, recreation activities and other events. There is also another building on the property for event rental that the girls will use to raise money for their program.
Raynes would like to have the program up and running by August, but to do so they will need to raise $250,000. Their first fundraiser is being planned for April 11. Hope in the Darke will be held at Romer’s Catering, 118 E. Main St., Greenville and will feature dinner, dancing, games and a silent auction. The cost is $50 per person. Sponsorships to help establish House of Hope Dayton are also available.
For more information, tickets or to donate, contact House of Hope Dayton, PO Box 118, Arcanum, Ohio 45304, call 407-0496 or email HouseofHopeDayton@gmail.com. You can learn more about House of Hope Dayton by visiting www.HouseofHopeDayton.org.
If fundraising goes well, House of Hope Dayton should be occupying this vacant building in Ithaca by August.