Methodist Children’s Home evacuates ahead of Hurricane Laura – Children and Staff Safe

August 31, 2020, Sulphur, LA – Methodist Children’s Home of Southwest Louisiana (MSCHSWLA) safely evacuated Sulphur, Louisiana, early Wednesday morning, August 26. Following the Home’s Emergency Response Plan, the staff safely transported all children to the organization’s Outdoor Wilderness Learning (OWL) Center near Ruston. Unable to reoccupy the facility in Sulphur for residential care, all children who were in the care of MCHSWLA were admitted into the care of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home in Ruston, Louisiana.

The eye of Hurricane Laura passed over the facility. The Children’s Home campus on North Beglis Parkway in Sulphur now appears mostly untouched. However, the surrounding community’s infrastructure and the entire Calcasieu Parish region will take months to recover from the extensive storm damage. As a result, the children will continue in care at the historic Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home in Ruston, Louisiana.

Dr. Steven Franks, Director of the Southwest Home, said, “When we evacuated Wednesday morning, we could not imagine our entire community was going to be devastated.” Franks continued, “The Home was built to last, so I’m not surprised it is undamaged.” In Ruston, with several staff members from the Home, Franks indicated that the children are well cared for at Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home.

Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services (LUMCFS) operates three Children’s Homes in Louisiana. These Homes provide intense therapeutic behavioral healthcare for children whose needs cannot be met in their local communities. The organization’s Methodist Foster Care program offers therapeutic foster care services to children throughout the state, including the Lake Charles region.

President and CEO of LUMCFS Rick Wheat said, “The well-being of the children in our care is paramount even during disastrous times. We are grateful that all of our children and staff are safe. Our staff in southwest Louisiana did remarkable work keeping these children safe. They represent the strength and resourcefulness of southwest Louisiana.”

Wheat said LUMCFS is working closely with the Louisiana Department of Health to ensure the children and their families’ needs continue to be met following state and federal regulations. “Providing quality residential care for children requires support from the community, from utilities and medical care to education. Until our community is rebuilt and we can restore residential care, Methodist Children’s Home of Southwest Louisiana will assist in disaster recovery work.”

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Patrick Blanchard
Director of Public Relations and Development
Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services
1 (318) 242-4622 desk

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