Members of the Treutlen House board announced Wednesday that $146,941 was raised in an effort to keep the facility open.
The board began raising funds in November when members were told the management group of the home would no longer be taking care of the home.
“We’ve been very blessed with our fundraising,” board chairman Mose Mock said, “but even at that we’ve got to look to the future.”
Mock noted that 166 homes have closed in Georgia and said there will be a crisis in childcare.
“We’re trying to do our part here, and the community has rallied,” he said.
Mock said the board wants to thank everyone in the community who has helped.
“Thank you to everyone who has been so benevolent even during a recession,” Mock said. “I like what one lady at my church said — God’s not in a recession, he provides for his children.”
Mock said even now the board would like to keep the need in front of the community as they begin working on a budget for 2010, and raising the funds that will be needed to continue to operate the home.
“We know that this money hopefully will carry us a year, but even then, we don’t ever want to be caught back in a situation we were caught in,” he said. “You can go to your friends once in an emergency, but after that it gets a little old. We want to be prudent. We want to be planning ahead, and we have set a campaign goal of $100,000 for next year, and we are working on that campaign now.”
There also are plans to establish a foundation to provide funding for Treutlen House.
Board member Beth Helmly said the amount of funding needed will depend on the state budget and how much funding is given for the care of the children.
“The more they cut, the more we’ll have to use our resources,” Helmly said.
Mock said it will depend on state funding, and if the state continues to move children out of group homes.
Treutlen House Director Susan Gattman said there will always be a need for homes like Treutlen House.
“There are some kids who just do not fit in a foster home,” she said. “I think what’s going to happen is a lot of homes are going to close, and then they’re not going to have enough.”
Gattman said Treutlen House staff is trained to work with children with psychiatric issues and behavioral issues that foster homes are not equipped to handle.
“We have lots of training, and we have a therapeutic program. We have therapists who come to Treutlen House and work with these kids,” she said.
Helmly said both foster and group homes are needed to accommodate the different needs of children.
Gattman said some of the children who come to Treutlen House do transition to a foster home after behavioral issues have been worked with at the home.