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Joy House asking for funds to expand ministry to teen boys

Joy House founder Steve Lowe on the front porch of the boys home. The Christian ministry hopes to have this home completed by July so they can expand to serve more families.

 

“The reason I want to get this finished is I’m tired of turning boys away. For a year and a half, I’ve talked to a lot of families we couldn’t help as we just didn’t have space,” said Steve Lowe on the mostly finished boys’ home at the Joy House campus.

Lowe, the founder and executive director of the ministry/ school for teens, said the Joy House lacks $65,000 to complete the boys’ home, which will also house the school facilities for both boys and girls at the campus off Cove Road, near Bent Tree Drive.

The Joy House currently operates with a girls’ home that can house eight teens with temporary classrooms and offices for the ministry in the basement of that structure. Currently, four boys are housed at a smaller house that was on the campus property when the Joy House bought it.

The new building would allow the Christian ministry to double their capacity from four to eight boys.

 

Under construction since 2008, the boys’ home will have 5,400 square feet for eight youth and house parents to live and another 2,500 square feet for education facilities for the ministry.

The house construction is being handled through builder Dan DeJiacomo and has been done in stages as funding is available. Lowe said the Joy House rigorously sticks to a no-debt philosophy so the house only moves forward when there is funding through donations or grants for it.

“We’ve always operated debt free,” he said.

At this point, the very nice structure looks complete on the exterior, but still lacks finish work.

Lowe said he has funds available to complete some interior painting, but still lacks funds for some of the flooring, and electrical and plumbing fixtures among other items.

Several things are coming together this July and Lowe would love to have the second home finished by then. Not only will a new set of house parents be coming on board for the boys, but the Joy House will be celebrating their 10th year of operation that month.

Lowe said he would love to have a celebration to mark the 10th anniversary, welcome the new house parents and hold an open house of the completed structure all at the same time.

Lowe said the house could be completed within eight to ten weeks if the funding comes through.

While asking the community for the funds to allow expansion, Lowe emphasizes that the non-profit remains financially stable in regard to current operations.

“This is a case where we want to move ahead,” he said. “Our main thrust in doing this is to help more families.”

During the ten years that the Joy House has operated, they have worked with 74 teens and families. Of these 40 percent have been Pickens residents.

Currently the program is serving 10 kids, with new female students set to join on a staggered basis until they reach maximum capacity. Lowe said they have had some females recently graduate and they don’t bring more than one teen in at a time.

Lowe said they will be full (8 girls, 4 boys) within several weeks.

The Joy House is a unique program which ministers to both troubled teens and their families. Lowe said they emphasize four different approaches to restoring teens and families: home, counseling, school and family work.

When asked how the Joy House compared to similar programs elsewhere in size, Lowe said Eagle Ranch, also in North Georgia, was larger, but he didn’t know of any other comparable teen and family program anywhere of any size.

The Joy House can be contacted at The Joy House, PO Box 247, Jasper, GA 30143, (706)253-7569, www.thejoyhouse.org.

 

Dan Pool can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Joy House founder Steve Lowe on the front porch of the boys home. The Christian ministry hopes to have this home completed by July so they can expand to serve more families.

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