Timothy Hill Children's Ranch opened the doors to a new transitional home on its property on Monday, designed to assist teens leaving Suffolk County jail get back on their feet.
Dubbed 'The Right Path,' the home will house four young men, plus a caretaker, at "the Ranch," the Christian non-profit's 70-acre campus.
Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, who organized the partnership with THCR Executive Director Thud Hill, called the program a, "a safe and rehabilitative place for some of our homeless youth leaving the special youth program at the facility."
In 2011, the Sheriff's Youth Tier Initiative was launched with a mission of promoting a successful transition of incarcerated youth from ages 16 to 19, from jail to life in the community.
Still in its pilot phase, so far, 51 young men have participated in the program and plans are in the works to expand the program.
The housing sub-committee is one branch of the program. In 2012, two housing options for homeless and displaced youth were identified. Along with the Department of Social Services, a supplemental state grant was identified to support the initiative. Along with the house built at the Timothy Hill Ranch, Hope House Ministries in Port Jefferson earmarked beds at their shelter, as well.
Click here to read more about the Youth Tier Initiative.
The home at Timothy Hill was built largely with time and materials that were donated or given at a reduced price. Hill said Riverhead Building Supply offered a lot in the way of raw materials, while Brett Marascia's B-Marascia Construction Co. helped do much of the work.
Even current inmates themselves pitched in, as part of the jail's work release program.
"This program here gives the kids a chance, kind of like the same chance we have," said William Fray, who helped build the home.