The newly remodeled former DHS building now has new purpose.

On Monday, Logan County Judge Ray Gack, along with new community board members, dedicated Annie’s House of Hope in the efforts of providing a safe house for abused and neglected children in North Logan County.

Gack said during the dedication, “These kids go from living in a state of fear and neglect to watching their parents get arrested. We wanted to do something to help take the stress off of them. So we decided what better way than to give them a House of Hope for a better future. A lot of people and work was involved in making this project what it is. A lot of cleaning and a lot of painting. A lot of hours has brought us to where we are today.”

Newly formed board members, Jim Richardson, HC Varnadore, Paula Beaty, Leslie Maddox, Carol Geels and Judge Ray Gack, as well as approximately 75 people were present for the opening and dedication. One person in particular was Washington County Judge Joseph Woods.

Woods said “I came through the system. I was left on the doorstep of an apartment complex on the coldest day of the year. I was placed in a foster home and was later adopted. I was raised not realizing that my birthday was actually my ‘finding’ day.”

He went on to say, “the work we do for these kids has a rippling impact on their life. I’m a judge today because someone cared enough to help me, to love me after I was abandoned.” Woods finished by saying “we are placed on this earth to do two things: 1. Love your neighbor as yourself and 2. go tell the good news. Whether it is through foster care or adoption we can all help someone.”

Annie’s House of Hope is an intermediate housing facility that has a home-like feel. It will be a safe place to house children for up to eight to 12 hours while they await a foster home but it is not designed for overnight stays. Annie’s House of Hope is a kid-friendly facility and will also serve to provide a safe, centralized place for parent/child visits.

The building is owned by Logan County, manned by DHS personnel and supplies have been furnished by the public. Monetary donations can be made to Annie’s House of Hope at First National Bank of Paris.