Group Home for orphaned young men
Home and family are two words that go together. However, for many of these young adults, they’ve never or very minimally known either. Stephen’s Home has been prepared with very specific young men in mind who grew up at the orphanage in Oleshky, in southern Ukraine. They have been scattered from that institution, to regional adult institutions for those with disabilities. Stephen’s Home is a place for these young men to be renewed with close friends, renewed in their heart with a love that will be given by houseparent’s and home assistants in meaningful and tangible ways for their hearts to understand.
All thoughts and impressions of institutionalization have been set aside at Stephen’s Home. It is a place for:
- A Family – where they know they are loved and cared for
- A Home – where day to day activities become a part of their routine
- Doing laundry, ironing, making beds
- Grocery shopping and handling money as they are capable
- A Community – where these young adults can learn to be in community not only within a family unit, but with neighbors, new friends and within the body of Christ
- An Education – where learning is a life-long process with doors wide open
- Learning to cook and help prepare meals
- Learning how to use a computer and other new technology, enabling communication with others through the internet and using programing as a tool
- Learning in a classroom setting, having textbooks: reading, writing, arithmetic, sciences, personal health care, and specific areas of interest
- Therapy and physical exercise on a regular basis to develop muscles and skills so independence can be obtained to the fullest capacity
- The structure and layout of entry ways and rooms are specifically designed to allow handicap accessible freedom and encourage independence.
- Getting around, doing daily activities like getting dressed or taking a shower, is made simple and easy. Obstacles are removed and “helps” are installed so falls and accidents are minimal.
- Eating together in a dining room where everyone else eats is normal and accepted. The living space is to be enjoyed and used by all family members.
- This initial home provides houseparent’s living quarters and a formal guest room for guests, as well as helping staff (medical, cleaning, teachers, occupational or physical therapists) throughout the week as needed.
Family and Community
- Gaining an understanding and knowledge of who their Savior is, and become a part of the family of God is the first and foremost desire. The houseparents will initiate regular Bible study and prayer times each day.
- Learning how to build friendships with others who are not disabled may be a challenging, yet stretching experience as trust is learned and gained. Even within the body of Christ, this will not be an easy process. Learning how to act and respond in an acceptable manner to others and being gracious and polite are all aspects that are part of living in and being part of a public community.
- Christian houseparents live in the home. This couple will nurture and teach the young guys, the residents.
- The houseparents provide godly examples for the young adults, and encourage them to be Christlike in their everyday lives having patience with one another and doing things that bring joy through acts of kindness.
- Residents will help one another in the home doing daily chores (i.e. dishes, washing floors, working in the garden, helping to feed someone who can’t eat on their own), typical chores that children in a family home help out with.
- Going to church together as a family,
- Doing family outings and vacations
- Fun activities – having movie nights, going on picnics or to the beach together, celebrating birthdays
- Each young adult can gain a new sense of accomplishment and independence. Limitations come in many forms, as does one’s individual persistence to overcome obstacles.
- Encouraging the young adults to perform to their highest potential.
- A formal classroom space will be part of Naomi’s Home, the second home. Teacher(s) come to the home for lessons. (i.e. reading, writing, arithmetic, crafts, sewing, woodworking, etc.)
- The kitchen is a learning space, as well as the garden in the spring at planting and in the fall at harvest.
- A computer lab has been included in the home for skill development, eye-hand coordination, programs that help with skill sets and communication with friends.
- There is a therapy room in the home for physical exercise, massage and rehabilitation therapy. Appropriate equipment is installed for initial use and more can be obtained as needed.