Why Joe’s Place?
Joe’s Place is an innovative idea born from a dramatic need in our community. Each year close to a dozen MRH high school students find themselves without a home due to serious family difficulties. These students sleep and eat wherever friends will let them settle for a while.
Joe’s Place offers a small group of teenage students what every kid should be able to expect from life: a warm place to sleep, regular meals, and someone to provide guidance and affection. complete
Joe’s Place came together through the creative collaboration of the MRH School District, Crossroads Presbyterian Church, other local churches, and a number of committed volunteers.
The beginning: In July of 2006 a not-for-profit corporation was formed, a Board of Directors was established, and by-laws were developed. In August the MRH School District purchased the house, just a short distance from the school. In September, the Board hired a part-time program director to attend to the details of getting Joe’s Place up and running. Also in September, a major gifts fund-raising committee was established.
In the fall of 2006, house parents were hired and they moved into Joe’s Place. They welcomed the first resident in January, 2007, and was soon followed by the second, third and fourth residents.
To date, Joe’s Place has served 35 students, with all but two successfully completing high school or on track to do so.
The house: Joe’s Place is staffed by two qualified house parents. These individuals receive room and board and a stipend in exchange for serving as house parents five days a week. Students check into the house on Sunday evening and out on Friday. Local churches and volunteers help to coordinate meal donations several times a month. On the other days, house parents and students cook meals together. Community volunteers serve as mentors and tutors for the residents of Joe’s Place.
Clinical interventions, therapy and other services are provided for student residents of Joe’s Place based upon the individual student’s needs. A case manager meets with the entire group of student residents and the house parents in regular sessions to discuss issues that may arise in the house.
Post Graduation: In 2019 Joe’s Place added the alumni program to provide support to Joe’s Place graduates through a case manager. Participants receive assistance with post-secondary transition, housing during college breaks and summers, health and wellness connections, career development, and financial planning. This supplementary layer of support’s goal is to ensure our alumni will not become homeless again but instead have a healthy, independent, and rewarding future.