Loray Girls’ Home, Inc. was established in 1986 to serve youth in need of a stable, caring environment. LGH specifically serves girls ages 12-18 who are in foster care due to neglect, abuse or delinquency. We provide a long-term residential environment that allows us to address the educational, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of each resident. In addition, we consider it a significant investment to prepare each girl with the independent living skills needed once they leave foster care. Through our aftercare program we are able to provide support and follow-up beyond their stay with us.
Loray Girls’ Home Mission
To equip foster care youth with the means of being self-sufficient as they transition through the stages of adolescence and into adulthood, recognizing their unique needs and circumstances while enhancing their strengths and abilities.
Our S.A.I.L.S. (Striving to Achieve Independent Living Success) Program strengthens our independent living component. We believe that true self-sufficiency goes beyond teaching daily living skills. Adolescents also need to have a strong support network, community resource awareness and adequate information regarding education and career opportunities. Our S.A.I.L.S. Program will strive to achieve each of these by first providing housing in either our current home, which has five beds, or in one of two new apartments we hope to have available within the next several months. LGH staff will then work with each resident to establish individual goals in each of the areas mentioned above. Throughout their stay at LGH, their goals will be monitored and updated as they transition through the various stages of their lives. LGH is committed to presenting our community with young adults prepared not only for self-sufficiency, but also to be contributing citizens.
• Become a Mentor to a child.
• Donate clothing or personal items.
• Make a monetary or in-kind donation.
• Volunteer your time by conducting an informational workshop or leading a crafts activity.
• Sponsor an event or activity for the Mentoring Program.
• Contact Social Services about becoming a visiting resource for a foster child.
• Pray for our home, our girls, and our staff.
History of Loray Girls’ Home, Inc.
In 1985, Loray Baptist Church under the direction of Rev. Raymond White begin a process of long-range planning for the church’s future. The church which was “land locked” (Franklin Blvd. in front and the railroad track behind) thus, had begun to acquire property on South Firestone Street across from the side of the church. The property was the site of former mill houses from Firestone mill. One house was being used as a Missionary House for Missionaries on furlough from the Southern Baptist Church. Leaders in the community particularly from Gaston County Department of Social Services and Gaston County Juvenile Court approached Rev. White with the need for a group home for girls in Gaston County.
Did Loray Baptist Church need to be in the group home business? Was their anyone connected with LBC that had experience in residential care? The answer to this and many other questions could have been an obvious NO. But in good Baptist fashion these questions were taken to the congregation and they were instructed to Pray. And Pray they did. God’s plan was followed. Suffer little children and let them come unto me.
Under the direction of Rev. White and by following the will of God the congregation of Loray Baptist Church begin the process of creating Loray Girls’ Home. A revenovation of the house at 104 South Firestone Street was begun. Ben Greene, the church maintenance director led the church in the work of transitioning an eighty-year-old house to a facility that met and exceeded state standards for residential care. A Board of Directors, led by Mike Holland and made up church members was formed. Betty Travis, a church member, following a “calling from God” came forwarded with the desire to give up her home and job and become housemother for the home.
On April 17, 1986 Loray Girls Home accepted it’s first resident. A difficult year followed with many lessons learned. While the congregation was diligent in their prayers and their genuine love for the females who came through the doors, it became apparent that more funding as well as staff trained in the specific needs of adolescents was needed. Funding from what was then known as Community Based Alternatives was acquired and two staff members who remain with the agency today were hired. Angela Lathan Flake was hired as Executive Director and Barbara Setzer was hired as a residential counselor to assist Ms. Travis.
Since 1986 Loray Girls’s Home has seen well over 100 Gaston county residents in need of placement outside their home come through our doors.
Thanks in large part to many individuals who listened with their hearts and allowed themselves to be led by God, a mission, which has impacted the lives of many, was begun.
104 South Firestone Street
Gastonia, NC 28052