The Lighthouse receives calls regularly asking questions about how we are able to run a successful group home for individuals with intellectual disabilities in a farm setting. These inquiries can be as simple as; how do you manage your herd of heifers? To as complex as; how would we as a group of parents start a residential group-home like the Lighthouse?

Our setting has a 3 way focus; we are faith based, our founders and foundation was focused on a nondenominational approach to Christianity and our ministry. Secondly, we are farm based; we are a small working farm with animals and gardens. All our farming land and skills are used for the purpose of providing our own nutritional needs and self-sufficiency that the individuals that live here take care of daily. Lastly, the individuals that live here do so family style, taking meals together and working together for a common cause, caring for their beautiful home and property.

Because of the passion I feel for what the Lighthouse ministry is about along with the organizations feeling that it is part of our ministry to support others, and adding the experiences we have learned over the years, I eagerly and willingly take these calls from people desiring to know more.

In most cases the process is quite simple; someone calls me and speaks to me on the phone about their questions. Sometimes this can be ½ hour to 45 minutes. Sometimes this short conversation is all a community member or parent of an individual with special needs requires in order to know what direction to go or who to contact next.

If further consulting is desired we offer a tour and a meeting with me to discuss any further questions with a person or group, this too takes time, approximately 3 hours. Depending on the person or groups level of interest, we talk about topics such as; how we function as a private pay residential group-home, what would it take to get started in your community? And/or who else can they talk to that understand the demand for group-homes in a rural setting.

As a Farm in the Dell International Property we would always refer you to discuss your needs with them, they have a clear path as how to move forward with the goals that most people are seeking.

Beyond the phone call and tour if a group was interested in more advice a discussion of cost would have to be approached. Although we desire to serve and minister to others we would not want to take away from our quality of care we have created by thinning our staff time. See our contact information to reach out to me.

In God We Trust,

Shirley Willis

Executive Director