Local News

Special Clayton House Provides Hope For Girls In Need

Posted March 21, 2006 6:41 a.m. EST

— After driving by a particular house in Clayton, you might notice the blooming flowers, but they don't give you even an inkling of the personal growth happening inside.

The House of Hope is a Christian home, school and counseling center for troubled girls between the ages of 12 and 17.

"We bring girls in from all walks of life," said director Carrie Ramsey. "Some have been struggling with drugs. Some have been sexually abused. Some have been physically abused and what we do is bring them in and try to reach them about how to move forward.

Seven girls live at the house for up to about two years. Sheila Weathersbee said she and her husband were at the end of their rope when they sent their now-15-year-old daughter to the house.

"She did not want to follow instructions. She wanted more freedom than we were allowing her to have at that age and we couldn't keep her home," Weathersbee said. "She just wouldn't do anything you asked her to do."

Weathersbee said she and her husband tried social services, but needed something different.

"When we first walked in the door, they hugged us. like we understand, sit down, have a cup of coffee and just talk to us.

House of Hope counsels the girls and their parents.

"They have to come two to three times a week to make sure their child is getting back on track and to make sure they'e learning new ways to communicate with their child and we also council the siblings to make sure the whole family is getting repaired,"

Weathersbee believes it saved her daughter's life.

"I think without House of Hope, we'd have no relationship with her. I owe them a lot, quite a bit,

"I love it. I love coming to work every day and first of all, it's a calling I feel God has placed on my heart. But I love teenagers. I see their problems and it burdens me.

It's a burden lifted when attitudes bloom and hearts heal.

House of Hope operates on donations, it accepts no government money. Families pay a small fee, about one percent of their salary. The house gets calls from families all over the country needing help. A second house is now under construction. They hope to eventually accommodate 31 girls.