Spring Newsletter 2021
Welcome Spring! As you probably feel the same, we are looking forward to a normalization of activities. Your board is still meeting via Zoom and incorporating new technologies in how we monitor our agendas and reports via Microsoft Teams.
The present situation concerning children in foster care in Henderson County has been a challenge for the Department of Social Services which oversees their placement and care. A recent count recorded 170 children in foster care with 76 foster homes. There is a need for 20 to 30 more foster homes in the county. Of the 170 children, approximately 35 are placed out of the county because of lack of space. These numbers change weekly of course. The next foster parent training session by DSS begins in mid May. The remote training is facilitated by their use of the Poly video system on loan from Homes for Youth.
Since we opened our house four years ago to foster girls, we have provided a temporary home for 25 youth. The foster parents have told us they could not have done it without our help. Both parents work outside the home and we do much of the repairs and maintenance. We are still awaiting the opportunity and maybe a grant to replace much of the carpet on the main floor.
Speaking of maintenance, a group from the Firefly Realty Group at Keller Williams will have a yard cleanup day in May for us led by our supporter and donor, Doreen Huskes. They will trim shrubbery, rake leaves and mulch the planting beds.
It’s time for Bearfootin’ Bear Public Art Walk and we will have our own! The reveal of “Buttercup Kisses” by artist Linda Allen will be on May 13 from 5 to 7 pm. downtown at the Tourist Development Authority Stage. Attendance has been limited by the city, but you can watch it on Facebook by following Downtown Hendersonville, NC. We are grateful to our board member, John Rapp and wife Alice for sponsoring our bear. A live auction will be in October and we will get a share of the proceeds.
Some of our board members have met recently with two organizations that advocate or are following the same model as H4Y to provide a home for foster children. We have had discussions with Alex Williams of Fostering Hopes who has met with county leaders in Henderson and Buncombe showing the significant savings to the county of using local DSS foster homes instead of paying for housing outside of the counties while keeping the youth enrolled in their present school. We also met with Adam Ponder of H3 Collective in Buncombe County who will open a home like our model soon and plans to add two more. The major hurdle for both of us is the cost of buying or building a home or having one donated like a parsonage. We could see the benefit of partnering with one or both of these organizations for substantial grants to acquire additional housing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed virtually everything and it hasn’t been business as usual for over a year. For Homes for Youth, some grants have been diverted to needs related to the pandemic. Donations from charitable resale shops stopped since they weren’t open for business. Donors who aren’t retired had increased financial insecurity. Finally, Homes for Youth could not have fund raising events because of social gathering restrictions.
The result is that our donor contributions and other revenue are down significantly in the last twelve months. We certainly thank all of you that have been faithful in your donations. If you find that you don’t require the stimulus payments that you received, we welcome you to share it with us. As our Treasurer, Dick Kauffold has penned:
When you don’t know what you should do
With money that just came to you
You sure would be wise
To increase the size
Of your gift, and you’ll feel good too!
Financial donations to Homes for Youth may be made in the following ways:
Mail checks to: Homes for Youth
PO Box 1581
Flat Rock, NC 28731
Donate online: www.homesforyouth.org
When shopping online at Amazon, go to www.smile.amazon.com and select Homes for Youth, Inc., Flat Rock, NC, as your Amazon Smile charity of choice.
God bless you,
Homes for Youth Board of Directors
We are a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 919-807-2214. The license is not an endorsement by the State.