At King’s Home, hope lives

Calera Chamber President Mike Gothard (Left) presents Lew Burdette a certificate of appreciation and a Visa gift card for King’s Home. (Contributed)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Column

Speaking to Calera Chamber members on March 6, King’s Home’s President Lew Burdette said hope lives. Hope to have confidence. Hope to not be angry. Hope to know someone cares. Hope to start over. Hope to wake up happy. Hope to survive another day.

King’s Home, formerly King’s Ranch and Hannah Homes, has served youth, women and mothers and children seeking refuge, hope and help from abuse, neglect, abandonment, homelessness and other difficult circumstances for over 30 years. The program operates 18 Christ-centered homes in three counties — Jefferson, Shelby and Tuscaloosa.

Burdette spoke to Chamber members to raise awareness of the organization. “Giving hope is our mission. It is only because of the continual selfless acts of loving kindness from our community that we are able to provide safe and loving homes to those who so desperately need them.”

Each group home houses 24 residents, transitional living up to eight. In addition to food, shelter and love, residents are taught skills and given tangible services to help them heal from their devastating pasts, break the cycle of abuse, build healthy relationships and become independent so they can return as productive members of our community.

The youth program serves children ages 10-21. Statistics for this group are: 93 percent have been abused, 75 percent classified with severe behavioral problems and 90 percent are behind at least one grade-some as many as three. Youth are assisted with social skills, education, employment and independent living skills. The average stay is two years.

Women and moms with children find open arms at King’s Home when fleeing domestic violence and abuse. More than half of the women have little formal education. Many struggle with substance abuse, unemployment and low self-esteem.

Services provided by the home include counseling, parenting skills, substance abuse classes, education employment, housing and childcare.

The cost to maintain 18 residential group homes (nine in Shelby) that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, required a $3.9 million budget in 2010. Typical expenses are food, medical care, transportation and salaries.

King’s Home depends on community support to assist its residents. Financial donations are greatly appreciated, but the ministry needs volunteers, food, toys, hygiene product, cleaning items, unneeded household items — even vehicles.

Administrative offices are located on the Chelsea campus. Their office can be reached at 678-8331.

Their website, Kingshome.com, has upcoming events and news and offers the opportunity of online giving.

King’s home — a place where compassion resides. A place where hope lives.

Mollie Brown can be reached at dmjhb1@bellsouth.net.