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Maryhurst Is Getting Updated Housing Facility

An expansion is in the works for Maryhurst, the residential treatment center in eastern Jefferson County serving about 300 children every year who have been victims of abuse.Maryhurstis a 170-year-old facility that specializes in serving adolescent girls who have suffered through abuse and neglect, though young boys are also served by the center, said Jennifer Moran, spokeswoman for the center.Moran said ground has been broken ground on a new facility that will house 14 girls with the “highest therapeutic needs in Kentucky’s child welfare system,” according to a press release.What will be named Madeline’s Cottage, after Madeline Abramson, wife of Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson and a longtime advocate for the center, will be the first addition to the Maryhurst campus since the 1970s, Moran said.She said the current facilities are not the “ultimate space for us to provide the services we need to provide.”The addition of the cottage does not mean Maryhurst will be taking on additional youth—it'll be an updated facilities to allow for more advanced treatment for the center’s lowest-performing residents, Moran said.“Just updating one cottage really is helping us a great deal,” she said.She said Maryhurst officials try to make facilities as “homey” as possible for the young girls that live at the center.“This is their home,” Moran said.  On average, girls spend about nine months at Maryhurst before moving on.A highlight of the cottage will be a Snoezelen room, which will cater to girls in need of sensory therapy, Moran said.  Snoezelen rooms incorporate lights, colors, music and scents to stimulate multiple senses.“This room will have different types of therapy that on a sensory level will help them on a day to day basis,” Moran said.Funding for the cottage is coming from a $10 million campaign headed by Maryhurst.  The first phase of the campaign includes the construction of the cottage, as well as a walking path and butterfly garden.  Moran said the center is just about $200,000 away from meeting the goal of $2.8 million needed to complete the first phase of the campaign.The cottage is set to open in the Spring 2015. “Our ultimate goal is to help them get into a forever family,” she said. “Or have them adopted by another family that they can continue to lean on and provide them support for the rest of their lives.”

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.