Scottsboro’s United Methodist Children’s Home will be closing later this year. The group girl’s home will close on August 10 because it will no longer receive funding. There are five girls currently living in the home.
Group Home Manager Melissa Bynum said it appears that people within the federal government want to do away with group homes and put all those children into foster homes. She said the teens at United Methodist Children’s Home have been on foster homes, and it did not work.
“We’re heartbroken, and the kids are disappointed,” said Bynum. “We’re praying they find what type of placement they need.”
Bynum said the staff at United Methodist Group Home teach the girls basic living skills. They teach the girls how to do housekeeping chores, laundry, how to cook, and healthy lifestyle things.
Bynum said they help the girls get a learner’s permit, and the home has a car to help the girls learn how to drive. She said the group home works closely with the Scottsboro City School System. She said they have a great relationship with the schools, and she meets with counselors, teachers, and principals regularly.
The girls are encouraged to be active in extra-curricular activities while they are in school. Bynum said they have had girls in the band, softball, volleyball, and several other activities. She said some of the girls have had jobs, and they will teach the girls how to save their money.
Bynum said that residential group homes are one of the most expensive facility types. She said the group home loses a “few hundred dollars” just operating every day. She said the home receives a daily rate of just over $11 from the state. Bynum called that a “disgrace.” She said it is next to impossible to raise a child on $11 per day.
“It’s a shame that it has to be this way,” said Bynum.
The United Methodist Group Home opened in the early 1970s. It works will all counties surrounding Jackson County. Bynum said they also work with Talladega and Etowah counties. She said the group home housed a girl from Houston County. She receives daily calls from Jefferson County trying to find placement.