King’s Home unveils new house for Transitional Living Program residents

CHELSEA – Local nonprofit King’s Home hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 10 at its new facility, a house designated for the girls enrolled in the organization’s Transitional Living Program.

The home was dedicated as “Jane’s House” in honor of King’s Home donor and supporter Jane Franks.

“Jane’s House allows up to seven girls in our Transitional Living Program and future residents to have a freshly renovated new house to call home,” King’s Home President Lew Burdette said. “As one of the teen girls living at Jane’s House so eloquently stated yesterday, ‘I’ve never even imagined living in such a beautiful house. For the first time, I see that people really do care about me. Mrs. Jane provided a beautiful home just for me to live in. Imagine all of the girls just like me who will get to live at Jane’s House in the future.’ This home has been beautifully furnished through the unbelievable generosity of Jane Franks.”

The Girls Transitional Living Program started in 2004 to provide opportunities for abused youth to experience real-world independence and responsibility before they transition into adulthood, Burdette said.

The program is designed to allow maturing King’s Home youth ages 16-19 a more independent living arrangement than the traditional, residential group homes for youth.

“Ninety-eight percent of teenagers eligible for this level program have suffered abuse leading to behavioral struggles and emotional problems,” Burdette said. “Yet, King’s Home youth are resilient showing growth and maturity in their behavior and decision-making skills. Residents living in our TLP will experience natural consequences of daily actions and decisions with the safety net of King’s Home program staff to give 24-7 support and guidance. TLP youth participate in one or more of the following: high school, vocational training program, college, GED prep or employment.”

Franks said she was honored to learn the home would bear her name.

“I had wanted to name it something about Hope, like Haven of Hope or House of Hope, but they insisted on Jane’s House,” she said. “Actually, I love that it is named Jane’s House. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that Jane’s House will be a part of King’s Home for many, many years, long after I am gone, and that it will help lots of young ladies prepare for their adult life.”

Franks said she was introduced to King’s Home by board member Skip Donnell years ago and quickly developed an appreciation for the organization.

“After visiting the campus and learning more about what they do, I fell in love with King’s Home and the organization,” she said. “I know that they love the children beyond measure and providing a safe environment is their No. 1 priority. I love that they offer them a Christian environment. I continue to be amazed by the success stories and some of the testimonies of the residents.”

Franks’s support of Jane’s House also honors her parents, Byron and Ruby Johnson.

“Mrs. Franks has made it possible for girls enrolled in our Transitional Living Program as well as for years to come to enjoy a safe, beautiful and comfortable home as they transition into independence,” Burdette said. “Jane so beautifully models 2 Corinthians 1:4, ‘He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us.’ Mrs. Jane Franks is a beloved treasure to King’s Home who cares about helping make an eternal difference in the lives of many.”

Franks described working with the King’s Home staff to see Jane’s Home completed as an “amazing journey,” and called Burdette an “outstanding leader.”

“I pray that the girls who enter the doors at Jane’s House will know that they are loved, that they are very special and that they have a safe place to live,” she said. “I have seen such excitement from the girls and the gratitude is so overwhelming. To feel special is what these girls need so desperately. To receive a heartfelt thanks and a hugs from the girls makes it all worthwhile.”