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ABCHomes breaks ground on home for single mothers and their children

Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries (ABCHomes) is expanding its ministry to meet the needs of single mothers and their children in the Jonesboro area.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Nov. 5 for the ABCHomes Family Care Home on the grounds of Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro, in memory of Dr. A.H. “Buck” Rusher. Rusher was born and raised in Brinkley.

The Home will assist single-parent mothers and their children through residential group care, mentoring, financial planning, teaching, counseling and referral to valuable community resources.

The Rusher family donated funding for the construction of the cottage, while Central Baptist Church donated the land to ABCHomes for the ministry.

 In attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony were more than 50 community supporters and leaders, as well as many members of the Rusher family. Addressing the crowd, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin praised the new project, adding that a home of this nature is “an area we've been looking at and trying to cover through our vision 2030. And this facility will specialize in that."

 Pam Rusher, Buck’s widow, said that her husband would be proud of a home where many mothers will not only receive great care but will also hear the gospel message of Jesus Christ. 

 The focus of the ministry is on long-term quality of life improvements, not on temporary solutions, stressed David Perry, ABCHomes executive director. “The program will seek to restore families with hope, comfort and shelter while they locate the resources they need to move toward successful independent living,” shared Perry.

 Perry added, “Relief and assistance will be provided to single-mothers from all walks of life so they can focus on resolving their individual crisis and temporary family instability. While the mother works toward setting goals with the guidance of dedicated and supportive staff, she lives in a comfortable residential setting with her children.”

 The 7,000 square-foot Home will house up to seven mothers and their children and will include live-in case managers. The Home will employ a staff of three.

Pam Rusher and her grandson, John Riley WellsAgency staff will offer supportive counsel for every mother and child. Assistance will be provided in goal setting, budgeting, parenting, homemaking, spiritual growth and relationship building.

 While some ministries to mother’s and children are available in central Arkansas, the ABCHomes Home will be unique in Arkansas, where the need it great, noted Perry.

 According to a report by the Single Parent Scholarship Foundation, nearly one in five Arkansas families are led by single parents, of which 80 percent are single mothers. An estimated 43 percent of single-parent families were officially below the poverty line (2008-2010 American Community Survey) in 2010.

 Many of these mothers have previously had nowhere to turn, said Perry. “ABCHomes views Family Care as a means to keep children with their mothers together in a safe environment while at the same time promoting self-sufficiency for these families. It is also a neat way to share the love of Christ in word and in deed.”

 For information on the Home, call Perry, 501-376-4791, ext. 5167.

Below is a video on KAIT in Jonesboro.


Stella Prather, Director of Communications, ABCHomes