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Christmas Greetings from The Young Homes!

Greetings from beautiful Chaffee Crossing, where The Young Homes faithfully fulfill the commission of scripture to care for God’s children! What an...

Greetings from beautiful Chaffee Crossing, where The Young Homes faithfully fulfill the commission of scripture to care for God’s children!

What an honor it has been to serve the children in foster care from Western Arkansas for the past 16 months.  We have been witness to His loving hand creating stability for children coming from a very difficult place.  We have seen God heal the wounds of little souls through caring House Parents and staff. We have rocked babies, said bedtime prayers and played with some of the most precious souls you could ever meet. We have comforted and help guide biological families as they prepare to bring their children home. We have seen the creation of new families through adoption right before our eyes.

Since opening in July of 2017, we have served 70 children from 21 different sibling groups. All have been from Sebastian or Crawford Counties. Some of the children have been together under the same roof for the first time. These older siblings, who come in protective of younger ones, learn that here, they are safe to be a child and not a caregiver. The little ones who have missed important milestones have been able to catch up and then surpass expectations of therapists and doctors.

Our children have ranged in age from 9 weeks to 17 years old. We have served sibling groups of 2 and of 8. We have had, at times, 9 children in one home to ensure that siblings stay together. Caring for a group with this much age difference made for some interesting challenges at first. We had to move in baby and toddler beds as well as provide outdoor activities and equipment for all ages.  We have seen such an increase in the empathy our children show for one another as they bond together to navigate this transitional season in their lives.

We have had a remarkable rate of case completion here at The Young Homes. We have seen 22 children reunited with family. Children returning home and families being restored is the first goal of DCFS for the children and we have worked to support that goal whenever possible. When reunification was not an option we worked with DCFS during the adoption process, seeing 14 children find their forever family. These 14 children, in sibling groups as small as 2 and as large as 4 completed 5 families in a beautiful way.

Our children are blessed with an amazing support system in the faith family at Cavanaugh Church. Each of our children attend services and classes weekly to help then gain a foundational knowledge of Jesus’ love. Eight of our children have made professions of Faith, beginning their walk with the Lord as children with a lifetime ahead to serve Him. We have celebrated 7 of those children being baptized and letting the world know of their commitment. This, above anything is the honor we hold most dear, Introducing children to the only One who can truly change their destiny.

Recently we opened the Curtis and Celia Massey Activity Center on our campus! This facility houses offices, a conference room, a place for children and parents to meet under supervision and a large activity room for our children. We have already had a few events in the building and the kids love having a place to be together. We play ping pong, air hockey, do crafts, have devotions or just hang out and eat a snow cone. Our tutors and mentors have several spaces to meet with children to work on homework or special projects, and DCFS and therapists can meet with the children on campus here as well. We are so grateful for the financial support that made this a reality.

We are currently serving 30 children in our four homes. We have football players, cheerleaders, band members, gymnasts and budding academics among us. We do our best to see that the children are involved with activities that help them explore their interests.

We know that nearing the Christmas school break some will be reunified and some move to pre-adoptive placements, and that is hard on our hearts. But we also know that in Area 2 of Arkansas the need is so great, that these places will once again be filled with siblings who need a place for respite and healing as they wait for their case to resolve; and our hearts will enlarge again.

Our goals for the future include developing community partners in our immediate area to add another layer of social support for our children. We want to expand our volunteer, mentor and tutor program since we now have a space for the children to safely meet and create relationships with helpful, caring adults.  We want to participate in as many events as possible to raise awareness in Fort Smith about who we are, who we serve and how they can be a part.

We are still looking for funds and for groups to help with a few big projects. We need at least one smaller vehicle so we do not have to use a 15-passenger van to take a child to a dentist appointment or band practice. We would like to have an AED on campus in case of an emergency. We would like to extend our back patios to maximize play space in our backyards. We would love to have a half-court basketball space on our playground. For our activity center, we would like bean bags chairs, fluffy area rugs, tumbling mats and a gaming system.

We are grateful to all who have supported us, Family Ministries, and most of all to God for allowing us to be His hands and feet to the children placed in our care.

In His Service,

Marla Nelson

Administrator, The Young Homes

Contact Us

90 Stanley Lane
Greeneville, TN 37743
(423) 639-9449 (main office)
(423) 639-5083 (fax)

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From the time I was 7, camp at The Oaks was always the highlight of my year and helped me grow spiritually.
Jamie, age 21

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A happy foster family