Children's home remembers its past as it cuts ribbon on future
It is a celebration of the past and of the future for Faith, Hope & Charity as the care facility begins a fundraising campaign for the latest service offered to families of special-needs children throughout northwest Iowa.
Faith, Hope & Charity welcomes the community to a ribbon cutting and open house tomorrow, July 31, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the new Community Services Center, 1723 W. Milwaukee, east of the current facility.
The Community Services Center's highlight is respite care services for parents and caregivers needing a break from the 24-hour care of a child. The center is moving into the former Concordia Lutheran School, and that facility will allow Faith, Hope & Charity to double the number of families it serves through respite care.
Tomorrow's celebration is just the start of a campaign that Faith, Hope & Charity leaders hope brings people out to their facility to learn more about them.
"Rather than bringing our message to the community, we want to bring the community here to see what we do," said Tom Daniels, director of Faith, Hope & Charity.
Faith, Hope & Charity has come a long way since it began in the 1960s by the families of Dr. Fred Faine and Mike Smith. In the mid-1980s, the community came together to raise the $1 million necessary for the existing 32-bed residential facility.
Today Faith, Hope & Charity employs approximately 150 people, serving 75 families.
Now the organization is excited about its new service, including a major fundraising campaign of $400,000 to help purchase the building and fund the respite services. Faith, Hope & Charity and Concordia Lutheran School had an agreement that let the school build on land owned by Faith, Hope & Charity, and then would allow Faith, Hope & Charity to purchase the building after the 2001-02 school year.
Faith, Hope & Charity provided respite care services for a couple of years in the late 1980s, but was suspended when the facility changed its license. It was restarted in 1998, Daniels said, and has already outgrown the meeting room at a local motel and again at the Gingerbread House.
"We've outgrown quite a few places," Daniels said.
The new facility, which has undergone remodeling this summer, features the required space for respite care, according to Mary Sorenson, Faith, Hope & Charity's development director. There's a multipurpose room for everything from games to staff training, a large TV room for board games or movies,dining area, and bedrooms.
The respite care program is designed to let parents and caregivers a break from round the clock in-home care, and it also is something fun for the kids.
"It's like a big slumber party," Sorenson joked.
Already 40 families take part in the program, and Sorenson said that number will grow with the new facility.