Teaching Family Homes opens new Skills Center

An organization dedicated to caring for troubled children and families is celebrating the opening of a new facility on their 40-acre campus.

Teaching Family Homes does what the name implies. They provide foster children with a residence that they alone must maintain while attending school and working on the grounds in order to build the skills necessary to succeed in the job world.

Today’s new addition will bolster that effort. The refurbished Skills Center will equip students with the tools and supplies necessary to help increase experiential opportunities and home improvement problem-solving situations.

“Our new Skills Center gives us an actual building where we can focus specifically on these behavioral skills that are going to help these kids once they get jobs – how they’re going to relate to the people that they’re working with and the people that they’re answering to; the level of respect that’s appropriate; even just how to talk to somebody when you work for them,” explained Dave Mastric, the Service Learning Coordinator at Teaching Family Homes.

Students gained that type of practical experience throughout day while working on the clock by administering tours of all the facilities on the premises, including the very homes they live in.

“A lot of times they come here and they’re in a shell. The social skills that we teach them cracks the shell. They blossom into these wonderful young adults. They can be fairly immature and they learn through the constant repetition of these basic skills that they are valued members of society,” Mastric noted.

Teaching Family Homes receives some help from state funding, but the majority of their support comes from private donations. The new Skills Center has a good base of tools in house, but they are always in need of donations.

If you want to help contact Rich Rossway at 249-5437 or rrossway@tfhomes.org.

Here is a list of supplies still needed for the Skill Center:

Hand saws: regular hand saws, tenon saws, miter box saws, coping saws

Hand planes: block planes and end planes

Chisels: a full set of wood chisels with mallets

Squares: various sizes and styles

Nail sets: various sizes

Calipers: various sizes and styles

Clamps: we have a fairly good selection of short clamps but need long clamps

Miter saw with safety guards

Safety guards for Craftsman table and band saws

Belt sander

Sand paper

Extra blades for all saws

Extra blades for jointer and planer glues

Screws and Nails