New cause for hope at UM Children's Home


       Each year hundreds of children, youth and families come through the doors of the United Methodist Children’s Home in Decatur. Some come from a history of neglect and abuse. Others are homeless, and still others come just trying to keep their family together. All of them come looking for hope.
       Now, even more families can find hope at the Children’s Home. On Aug. 1, the Children’s Home opened a newly renovated building that will further expand their hope-giving and life-changing Family Housing Program. On July 31, children in three families went to sleep in a homeless shelter, in their car, or on someone's couch, and the next night the children laid their heads down on fresh new pillows in their own apartment, their hope renewed
      Another mother in family housing knows how these new families are feeling: “Coming and living at UMCH has been a dream come true for my children and me, because at UMCH there is a lot of love, a sense of community, and a sense of belonging and ownership. My children and I were not used to this, because we were always used to being in survival mode, which isn’t a good feeling. When we would wake up in the morning, my four-year-old son would always ask me, ‘Mommy, are they going to put us out today?’ which always brought tears to my eyes. [Now he] looks forward to playing in the backyard and doesn’t ask me anymore if we are going to be put out. So I thank God for UMCH every day because they really help families like mine.”
   Family Housing is part of the continuum of programs at the Home. UMCH has been serving children and families since 1871, and for 141 years they have been on the leading edge of finding innovative and effective ways to serve children. Sometimes this means ending programs that are no longer effective at “creating meaningful change.” 
     This is why they ended the group care program in 2011. It also means beginning new programs – such as Jesse’s House summer day camp and after school program, agency-wide trauma-focused therapy, and Nurturing Connections Second Chance Program – and growing programs such as Foster Care and Family Housing. The future of UMCH is solid as they continue to change lives. Find out more about Family Housing and the other life-changing programs at