Youths in Wheeling making the transition to adulthood but lacking resources may now look to the McCrary House on Wheeling Island for help. Located at 110 N. York St., Wheeling, the McCrary House is a project offering young adults both services and housing, helping to set them up and plan their futures.
The project was the result of a collaboration between Youth Services System, Huntington Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati. Representatives of each organization were present at the building's grand opening on Thursday.
"Most of us growing up had the benefit of families," said Executive Director of YSS John Moses. "A lot of these young people don't have that."
Moses has been helping to provide aid to youth for 30 years, and he said it has been rewarding.
"They have changed my life," said Moses of children. "It's a great feeling. We're glad to be there for you, and we hope to keep doing it for many, many years."
Program manager for YSS Pam Jeffers said the organization's goal is to be there for young adults just starting out.
"Our hopes for all of them are to let them live in a community and get basic living skills," said Jeffers. "If your kids are living away from home, we're the go-to people. They need a support system. We become that support system for them."
YSS Board Chairman Darryl Clausell said the McCrary House is a vision come true, and applauded all who were involved in it.
Mary Ann Homic represented Huntington Bank, who has been helping with the center's development and construction for two years. The overall expense of the project was $870,000, $548,600 of which was paid by a grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank through Huntington Bank.
"Huntington Bank is here to help develop the youth of the community," said Homic. "We have worked closely for two years with the Youth Services System. We are quite pleased and privileged."
Herman Bowling Jr. spoke for Federal Home Loan Bank, saying the mission of his bank is to further the residence and economic development in the communities. The most visible to do that, Bowling said, was providing funding for affordable housing projects. He said that the McCrary house received its funding in 2009.
"Congratulations to all agencies and providers involved in this great project," Bowling said.
A predecessor to the McCrary House is the Tuel Center in New Martinsville, where, like the McCrary House, young adults are taught basic living skills. These include meal preparation, housekeeping, budgeting, time management, self-preservation, and community resource training. Therapeutic services are also offered, including several different kinds of counseling and education about drugs and medication management.
Among those at the grand opening was Nate McDonald, 19, who said he benefited from the Tuel Center and was grateful.
"This helped me out because I had nowhere to go," said McDonald, noting he struggled but received help from the Tuel Center which helped him graduate high school and prepare for college.