Hope Generator
September 16, 2008 12:53 PM   Subscribe

Generations of Hope is a non-profit set up to bring kids out of foster care and into extended families with grandparents. The community of Hope Meadows was repurposed from housing on a closed Air Force base in Illinois. (The NYT article erroneously refers to the community by the non-profit's name. No matter. The story is still inspirational.)

As an adoptive dad (about to become a biological dad for the first time) with parents in town for my kids to enjoy and vice versa (not to mention plenty of friends with parents on the other side of the country or the world who don't have it so good), I'm thrilled to see organized support, however small, for this idea. Intergenerational childrearing has countless benefits for all involved, and I can only hope that the efforts to replicate the success of Hope Meadows are successful.
posted by yiftach (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Really makes me proud to know this is going on in Rantoul. I believe there was a push to make Chanute some kind of hotel - park touristy thing. This is better. I know they have a museum there (for the Tuskeegee airmen, et.al) and I think they still have the replica nuke silos zoomies used to train on.
But this is great. It makes a great community focus for an adoptive family for all the same reasons it made a good choice for military training facility (access to trains, nearby colleges, small community feeling, etc. etc.).
Nifty post.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:31 PM on September 16, 2008

When I was in the USAF, there was an oft-quoted saw: "Shoot me, don't Chanute me!"

So wonderful to see that a great benefit has come from what once was an almost universally reviled duty assignment, though, to be fair, each and every base had its own jokey, detracting rhymes and puns, which only sometimes had roots in reality.
posted by SaintCynr at 2:28 PM on September 16, 2008

Nice to hear* this project getting deserved attention again. I've never been able to forget the article Mother Jones did years ago. Our PBS station did a story a Christmas or two back about a similar community located around San Diego, for foster teens and live-in communal grandparents. Wish I could remember which program it was one, because the website linked to a nationwide list of similar programs. It's gratifying that group homes are getting more family-like and less institutional. Groups homes can be pretty dehumanizing places for foster kids. Having a chance to experience family life, safe relationships with trusted adults, etc. is a Good Thing

*Though not "see", since nytimes.com has some sort of grudge against me . Even the blog link generator can't get me a peek. My apologies if this is just a rehash of what they said.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 3:34 PM on September 16, 2008

ncm - a search for Rantoul at news.google.com should do the trick. Unless the Times really has something against you, in which case I can email you the text of the piece.

I'll have to poke around for the one "around San Diego" seeing as that's where I is.
posted by yiftach at 8:14 PM on September 16, 2008

Thanks! With a thorough cookie purge, the Google News link worked. Good stuff.

If I recall correctly, the SD one is at the site of a former school, possibly a boarding school. Seems like the tv program focused on several teens in the community's transitional program where they get a year or two of living on-campus in apartment-ish housing where they get to practice their independent living skills before having to be cut loose to do it truly on their own.

Or maybe that's just the portion that stuck with me most. It's heartbreaking how often foster kids get thrust out into the world on their 18th birthday with barely a fucking clue how to function on their own. Most of the rest of us are clueless at that age too, but we've at least seen our families do grocery shopping, negotiate through stressful moments in their relationships, balance a checkbook, etc. There's a lot of basic skills that we've gotten to absorb and take for granted along the way.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 12:28 PM on September 17, 2008

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