Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chestnut Mountain Ranch

Chestnut Mountain Ranch is a residential school program for children. Their admissions are based on an extensive intake process and the appropriateness of the child for the program. 
West Virginia is like many areas of the country that needs a program that brings hope and healing to children, but West Virginia statistics for children at risk are higher than most states. Detailed statistics from the Child Welfare League of America and the Anne E. Casey Foundation provide proof for the need.

Chestnut Mountain Ranch is devoted to reaching these children to bring hope and healing. The program is based on a the time proven program of Eagle Ranch, and the success rate for these children developing into strong productive adults with healthy families of their own is great. The vision for Chestnut Mountain Ranch started years ago when Stephen Finn was a police officer in metro-Atlanta. Steve and his wife, Dawn, felt that one day they would work with at-risk youth on a full time basis. After 11+ years in law enforcement, Steve felt that God was calling him to serve full-time in ministry.

Through a series of events Steve and Dawn found out about Eagle Ranch, a boy's and girls home located in Georgia, and they soon found themselves leaving behind what was familiar and becoming full-time houseparents to seven troubled teens. During their time at Eagle Ranch, their vision for starting a children's home that would bring hope and healing to children in crisis began to grow. Through Eagle Ranch's guidance, they became equipped to take on this great task.

A thorough study was conducted of various states, and areas of need. During their time of research they found themselves in Steve's home state of West Virginia. They quickly found that the need was great for a children's home like Eagle Ranch.  Chestnut Mountain Ranch got its name from Eagle Ranch's hometown of Chestnut Mountain, Georgia. 

This week there was a college group in representing Habitat for Humanity that worked on or around the ranch this entire week.  They were a group of 15 young adults that were lead by the gentleman pictured below.  I had a wonderful time visiting with them and also catching up with Steve Flinn and his family around their dinner table.  

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