"We do not have adequate housing for our staff currently.
With new staff housing, we will keep staff
working for us longer by also providing a quiet and
roomy place for them to live off campus."
- David Passmore, VP of Residential Services

We often say that our Residential Counseling staff is where the rubber hits the road in our program. These are the folks that are in the cottages 24 hours a day creating the relationships with the residents and providing the guidance, support and discipline our children need. These are very special people that do this work because they are called to do it. This is not just a job for them. It is critical to the success of our program of care that we be able to recruit and retain exceptional staff for our children.

Over the last six to nine months we have seen over a 30% turnover rate with our residential staff. If you look at the last two years that number jumps closer to 50%. Our children come to us because they have experienced the pan of abuse and neglect and have already been through so many painful transitions in their lives. Whenever staff changes take place, it can potentially trigger a return to those emotions, causing setbacks and behaviors that can derail the healing process. Our children crave the structure, consistency and stability that our program provides. With significant staff turnover, it becomes more challenging to provide that stability.

When a staff member is "on duty" in the cottage, there is a small apartment within the cottage for them to reside during their shift. For many of our staff, when they transition to "off duty" this apartment is the only place for them to stay. It becomes difficult for that staff member to disengage from the rigorous schedule and attachment to the children. We have a few small apartments on campus that are more than 50 years old and some lack the basic convenience of a kitchen. There is also a lack of affordable housing in the area for childcare staff. Options on campus and off campus are limited.

"When we work with the children 10 days on duty,
it would be great to have somewhere else we can go
to relax and enjoy our time off."
- Pete Abernathy, Residential Counselor Coordinator

Boys and Girls Homes is planning to construct three apartment buildings in a cul-de-sac style community. This will create a staff housing "village" to promote community and camaraderie among staff that live there. B&GH will initially build one duplex style apartment building that will contain two, two-bedroom, two bath apartments. Each apartment will house two staff members. We still seek and encourage married couples to fill our Residential Counselor positions, but realize that this is not always an option.

The two apartment duplex building will center will center the housing village we seek to create. The other two buildings to the left and tot he right of the center building will be approximately the same size yet will have four individual apartments rather than the two-bedroom units. We are seeing a trend toward the availability and hiring of single Residential Counselors. We will better be able to accommodate these staff members with single apartments.

We are projecting the total cost for the Staff Village to be between $650,000 and $700,000 depending on the cost of construction at the time of the project. This projected expenditure includes the cost of construction, land preparation, utility hook-ups, driveway and furnishing in each apartment. All of the units will be designed for energy efficiency, saving money on utility costs while providing much needed space for our childcare staff.