The Treutlen House is getting closer to its goal.
WECO Lighting donated a portion of its recent sales to the home, giving the fundraising another $2,000 as the boys home fights to stay open.
“We’re probably a little over three-fourths of the way there,” said Mose Mock, chairman of the board of directors for Treutlen House, of the $50,000 goal. “We’ve been real blessed, even in these times. It’s been a lesson to me to see how people give.”
Treutlen House directors first sounded the call for help after learning that Morningstar, the organization that was providing operational services, could no longer afford to do so. In addition, the state also cut the per diem rate it pays to group homes to care for children, Mock said. The state has pushed the emphasis toward foster care and away from group home settings, he added, and 166 group homes have closed in the last two years. Mock noted another child advocate told him that by slowly dying off, the closing of the group homes has not gained much attention.
The state also is looking at another 20 percent cut in per diem, according to Mock.
“The biggest thing people need to know is they need to contact their (state) representative or senator,” he said. “We’ve got to get the message out.”
Treutlen House directors are going through the process of getting a temporary license to run the home and have been in talks with two of the state’s leading children’s ministries about operating the home.
“Closing the home is not an option,” Mock said.
What Mock would like to see in the future is for an endowment to be established in the Treutlen House’s name. That way, in rough periods such as the current one, there is a resource to fall back on.
There are currently eight boys in the home. They attend school in Effingham County and the home tries to keep siblings together.
“We appreciate everything Treutlen House does for the community,” said Wayne Whitley of WECO Lighting, “taking the boys in and giving them a Christian environment and a normalcy in their lives. We consider it a blessing to be able to help Treutlen House.”
Whitley also wants to encourage other businesses to lend their support to Treutlen House.
“The Bible says that true religion before God is take care for the orphans and widows,” he said. “The Christmas season is the ideal time to help.”
Mock said groups interested in visiting the house or holding meetings out there can call Treutlen House director Susan Gattman at 754-9797.