Throughout the holiday season, Christian & Small will feature a special blog series here on Nonstop Insights called “Advocates in Our Community” that will be focused on how our attorneys and staff members actively contribute to the good of the Birmingham community outside of the office. This article has been cross-posted to the firm’s 2014 Holiday Giving Campaign website, www.nonstopadvocates.com.
With 22 residential group homes, six campuses in four counties and a $4.5 million budget in 2014, King’s Home provides Christ-centered homes and services where compassion and competence meet the needs of women, children and families.
King’s Home’s Board of Directors supports these efforts throughout the year, and Christian & Small Associate W. Steven Nichols has served on the board over the past year with a passion for fundraising. His efforts during much of the year are focused around finding corporate and individual sponsors for King’s Home’s annual spring banquet held each April.
Proceeds from the banquet are used to support King’s Home’s two separate and distinct services: Youth Program (formerly known as The King’s Ranch) and Women, Moms and Children (formerly known as Hannah Homes).
The Youth Program serves boys and girls ages 10 to 21. Of these, 98 percent have been abused, 75 percent are classified with severe behavioral problems and 90 percent arrive at least one grade level behind.
“The youth who come to us at King’s Home have not had stable home lives. They come from abusive and extremely neglectful circumstances. I saw one kid who had been in 20 homes by the time he was 15 years old,” Steven said. “They have been through the foster care system, they’ve been in trouble and struggled with behavioral issues, and they have had difficult lives due to the abuse they have experienced. Through our program at King’s Home we are able to offer them help and a hopeful future through helping them become successful academically, teaching them life skills, helping them set and obtain goals, and showing them what a real family is all about. It’s not a program where they get to “hang out”. We want to help these kids become independent and successful members of our community.”
The program for women, moms and children serves those who are escaping domestic violence situations. With a long-term structured program that lasts up to two years, tangible services assist women with domestic violence counseling, improving parenting skills, substance abuse classes, educational opportunities, employment, housing, childcare, and much more.
“Most of the women come in without a driver’s license and jobs. They are without resources, lack in job skills, as well as education. It’s also very common for an abuser to put debt in their victim’s name,” Steven said. “They are at the end of their rope and in a very bad place. They come to us with nothing more than the clothes on their backs most of the time.”
King’s Home’s program for women and moms with children focuses on helping set goals such as getting their GED, furthering their education by attending college, or obtaining employment. Once they have secured a job, $.75 for every $1 they make goes into a savings account to help them re-establish their own lives.
At Christian & Small, we know it takes time and dedication to volunteer on the Board of Directors for organization with such an ambitious mission. We are proud that Steven takes the time out of his busy schedule to advocate on the King’s Home’s behalf in our community.