Celebrating 65 years serving vulnerable youth

Alumni at the McCray Alumni & Training Center GroundbreakingHaving been a Boys Home boy, I feel a special connection to this amazing place that made such a difference in my life. I also feel a kinship with others who have experienced that saving level of care. A group of us alumni recently gathered on a Saturday to celebrate the role B&GH played in our lives. Over the past 65 years, more than 7,500 of us have been served through the programs B&GH provides.

During those 65 years, our commitment to our core mission of providing brighter futures for vulnerable children who were abused or neglected has remained unchanged. Yet the way we meet those needs is vastly different now than it was 65 years ago.

We started with a small group of boys living in a single family home. The focus was on meeting the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter in a caring environment. With the need so great, our facilities expanded to cottages for the boys to live in and additional staff came onboard to provide care to more children. Over time, additional locations were added and services were expanded to include girls as well.

We also started to realize that the needs of the children we were serving went beyond the basics. We strategically added counseling, therapy, education and vocational training elements to our programmatic offerings. Realizing that some children can be better served in homes, we added a foster care program that now supports more than 160 homes in North Carolina.

With changing external needs, we continue to evolve our services to meet the needs of these most vulnerable children. This includes adding the Janet Mitchell Winstead Lake House program to provide teen moms with the opportunity to continue their education and learn parenting skills to help break the cycle. We’ve added the C.R.E.A.T.E. Hope program to allow us to help child victims of crime and their non-offending caregiver receive the therapy and support they need to process the trauma they have experienced.

In the coming months, we will be opening Carolyn’s Kaleidoscope Child Advocacy Center to further assist child victims of abuse and their families move through the justice system. We are also beginning a formal family reunification program to help children and families who have moved through the child welfare system reunite with greater support and hope.

At B&GH, we are committed to explore ways to serve the needs of children, families and communities while remaining true to the core mission from our founding 65 years ago – providing brighter futures for vulnerable children.

Gary Faircloth is the President and CEO for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

 

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