GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Commissioners and Gallia County Children’s Services Director Russ Moore talked Thursday about the possibility of renovating the old children’s home for supportive living units.
Moore told the Tribune that since 2002, the former Gallia County Children’s Home, located just off State Route 160 behind the Gallia-Jackson-Meigs Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services on Shawnee Lane, has served as an office for Gallia County Children’s Services as well as a rented office space for Integrated Services of Appalachian Ohio, based in Athens.
According to Moore, the old children’s home was first built in the late 1800s. The renovation project would hopefully allow the building to remain in use instead of decaying, as well as provide homes for those who meet certain qualifications.
Integrated Services of Appalachian Ohio, along with Moore, met with Gallia County Commissioners in the Gallia County Courthouse, where they gave Moore their blessing to serve as a liaison with Integrated Services of Appalachian Ohio representatives to go about looking into turning the home into a place where individuals in need of permanent housing. Integrated Services of Appalachian Ohio is a service organization that provides coaching and guidance to individuals who have come from tough family situations, recovering from addiction, income challenges and other similar issues. The organization hopes to turn the old children’s home into such a community where individuals can find a permanent place to live. Integrated services often partners with health care providers and social services.
According to Moore, services would be offered to individuals living in the units. However, they would not be required to take part in them. Moore said preliminary investigations say that around 12 units could be fashioned from the old children’s home.
Moore said that it became common practice in Ohio for children in social services care to live in foster homes around the early 2000s. With that, the old children’s home has sat without use. Moore said the partnership with Integrated Services will lead to sustained maintenance of the old children’s home, as well as provide a public service in the fact it will lead to homes.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.