The board of directors at Bald Ridge Lodge had been discussing ways to improve the nonprofit’s center for at-risk boys when one day they walked right into the answer.
The group of board members was walking through the facility’s main lobby where resident boys gather, and suddenly a brand-new boy to the program walked in from the main entrance to a room full of current residents. The board members sensed the new boy’s uneasiness.
“It’s a lot to handle,” said Heidi Snarey, the nonprofit’s executive director.
That moment sparked a year-long renovation to re-orient how Bald Ridge Lodge takes in new residents and make other improvements to the center’s facility and services.
Supporters and members of the community got to celebrate the renovation during an open house and ribbon-cutting event on Thursday, Oct. 24.
The renovations focused on a new in-take room to provide a private and safe space for boys coming into the center. The renovations also included a new fitness area and two rooms for residents to visit with family, counselors and therapists.
Additionally, the Lodge expanded its aftercare services for boys who returned to a permanent placement, including a dedicated staff member who meets with former residents and their guardians to offer support and resources. Or former residents can come back to the Lodge with their families and meet with staff in a private space for continued counseling.
To raise funds for the renovations, Bald Ridge Lodge first worked with Keller Williams Community Partners to host a 5K event this past May, which raised $15,000. Dozens of more local businesses also donated funds for the project.
Bald Ridge Lodge’s ultimate goal is to reunify residents with their families, Snarey said, but she hopes the recent renovations will make things a little more comfortable until then.
“We can make it as home-like as possible while they’re here,” Snarey said.