October 30, 2020

Showcase transitional group home coming to Heard County

Courtesy of The Times~Journal

(Franklin) — The Heard County Commissioners met on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 for their regular monthly meeting at the Courthouse in Franklin.

Commission Chairman Lee Boone called the meeting to order, the invocation was given by Commissioner Larry Hook, which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

Commissioner Boone introduced invited guest John Kennebrew, founder and executive director of the organization called Showcase Group.

Mr. Kennebrew informed everyone in attendance on exactly what Showcase Group is planning to accomplish at the facility off Hwy 100 located in Franklin at the site of the old daycare center.

Guest Speaker John Kennebrew, Founder, Executive Director, of the organization called Showcase Group

Guest Speaker John Kennebrew, Founder, Executive Director, of the organization called Showcase Group

“Our Mission is to strengthen families and communities by providing youth with the opportunity of creative expression, psychological growth, and personal development. A lot of what we do is based in mental health,” said Kennebrew.

Showcase Group has worked in several Group Homes across the state as well as in behavior facilities.

They have worked with the organization Chris Kids where their ambition is to be Georgia’s go-to place where every vulnerable child or traumatized youth discovers how to unlock their potential.

Showcase Group has worked closely with Devereux, Georgia where youth find help, hope and recovery with depression, anger management, anxiety and behavior challenges. Because they are based in mental health, the Georgia Community Clinic will be partnering with Showcase Group.

Hannah Adams, President of Georgia Community Clinic spoke at the meeting on the counseling services that would be provided here in the Heard County location.

The State of Georgia has 3000 youth in the foster care system. Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) has a major need for placement of homeless youth.

DFCS will be Showcase Group’s number one referral; a waiting list is already in place for when the home gets opened.

Showcase Transitional Group Home in Franklin is the very first of its kind. State regulated it is a nonprofit facility funded by the State, with grants and also privately funded.

The home is in the final phase with the architect and plans to start within 60 days on the renovation of the five bedroom facility.

This will be an all male home, housing 10 residents of homeless youth between the ages 12 to 17 years old that could stay six months up to three years at the home.

Safety is a number one priority for the youth as well as the community. A 24 hour/seven day per week staff will be in place to insure security and transportation will also be provided for the youth.

The home will be providing the community with 30 part-time and full-time jobs. Because the home is state funded no spiritual counseling will be provided or the home could lose its much-needed funds. Their hope is to reach out to churches in the communities to get involved and provide the spiritual counseling needed to help the youth.

The home will have a big working volunteer event coming soon for the community to come out and help tear down walls and work on the facility. The grand opening will also be announced.

In other business at the meeting, invited guest Joanna Warren of the Georgia Forestry Commission spoke to the commissioners about a Forest Action Plan and the many threats to Georgia.

Warren presented the board with a brochure on the programs available to the county as well as the funding that is available.

One of the programs she spoke about was the ‘Making the Shade’ program, created by the Georgia Forestry Commission in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service.

The program is designed to create healthier, shaded playground areas on elementary school campuses throughout Georgia. Traditional elementary school campus designs often eliminate the health benefits provided by shade trees.

The Georgia Forestry Commission encourages communities to maximize the benefits of trees, while minimizing any relevant risks. Technical and financial assistance is available to plant trees on school grounds.

Through the strategic planting of shade trees this program hopes to reduce surface temperatures of school yards and playground equipment which can cause serious and painful burns to students, reduce ultraviolet radiation which causes skin damage, reduce ground level ozone by cooling play areas, decrease temperatures on playgrounds which will improve air quality and lessen the risk for children with asthma and other lung related issues, allow activities in green settings which can reduce the symptoms of AD/HD and improve test scores, and increase energy conservation by shading air conditioning equipment, windows and buildings.

The Forest Action Plan focuses on three state and private forest national priorities: Conserve working forest landscapes, Protect forests from harm and Enhance public benefits from trees and forests.

Amy Weaver, Heard County Forestry Unit was available to answer any questions the Heard County Commissioners may have on any of the programs available.

The minutes were approved from the June 23, 2015 meeting.

Under New Business the board approved the hiring of Norman Appraisers Inc., who specializes in appraisals and Tax Digest Preparation.

A thorough inspection and reconciliation of the office by Norman revealed some serious problems that need to be corrected to keep the county from getting fined by the Department of Revenue for being out of compliance.

At the June meeting a workshop was held to inform the Board of the situation at hand, and the critical need to take corrective action to bring the office up to date and in compliance.

Also the board approved the Rezoning application with conditions for Jimmy and Terri Thomaston at 10 Knight Road in Franklin after a public hearing was held. It is the Thomaston’s plan to have a go-cart track on the property they are looking at opening some time next year.

Heard County Industrial Park was discussed, and the need to have a site ready for new business to come into Heard County. Out of the 28 acres 13 acres are not developed.

The board approved the assistance of Heard County Road Department on the Heard County Development Authority’s project in the development of the park. Heard County Development Authority has allotted $500,000.00 for the construction of the park and they are hoping to begin in late fall.

The board also discussed the paving of Kirk Road. According to Heard County Road Department the funds are not available for this project at this time.

 

Comments

  1. Resident of Hwy 100 says

    This home has been kept quite and there have been attempts by the Showcase Group to sneak it in to Heard County. They will not tell you the real story behind this home. These are kids that are being released from jails and/or youth detention centers and have no where to go so they say send them to Heard County. We don’t need or want this in our community. We have been told that they need community support, well as of now they are not getting it. I would like to thank Comm. Boone and the zoning staff for checking into this and making sure they have all the necessary zoning correct. Its funded by our state tax dollars so not much we can do on the local level. I hope they don’t have any support and are forced to locate in another county not ours!

    • concerned citizen says

      Have you ever heard of second chances? I know that if the home is managed properly then it will be great. The repeat offender rate from most group homes is 0%! Statistics are readily available to verify this fact.
      Where do you think Heard County kids that get in trouble go?

  2. Emmett Jackson says

    Best wishes to the Showcase Group and the services you seek to provide.

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