What was Once a Dream is Now Reality
Jesse’s House Inc., originally known as the Forsyth County Youth Shelter, was founded in 1998 as a result of a 1996 needs assessment survey for the north Georgia region conducted by Kennesaw State University. The survey identified that there was a need in Forsyth County for an emergency shelter for at-risk girls, ages 7-17.
From humble beginnings in a donated 2-bedroom home and significant contributions from the community, Jesse’s House began operation in May 1998. In the home donated by the Larry Morris family, Jesse’s House, was able to serve seven residents with a maximum-allowed stay of 90 days. The shelter was named for Larry Morris’ father, Jesse.
Jesse’s House has continued to respond to our community’s growing needs. In 2002, Jesse’s House received the donation of a larger building to expand our services. As the need to serve more youth became increasingly clear, the Board of Director’s began renovation of this building in June 2003. Through a capital campaign, numerous volunteers, individuals and organizations, the new location was successfully completed in January 2004 and began operation in March 2004. The new shelter serves a capacity of 12 female youth and no longer has a maximum-allowed stayed. Each youth is provided with an individual bedroom as well as a library/computer lab, game room and common room. The new capacity allows us to serve approximately 70 youth annually.
In 2014, construction began and was completed for an additional building to accommodate the administration needs of Jesse’s House. The administration building began operation in November 2014 and is connected beautifully to the residents’ building by a courtyard and deck. The building allows for private offices for administration employees, a therapeutic counseling office for the residents, and a basement with recreational and fitness space for the residents. By moving the administration services to a connected building, the residents’ building was able to have a private family visitation room and an operating Jesse’s Bucks store that is part of the behavior management system. In 2016, Leadership Forsyth completed an amazing outdoor recreational space for the girls that include a half-court basketball area as well as completing the basement recreational and fitness areas.