By Kimberly Scott
AGAPE of NC opened its second young adult foster home (YAFH) in August 2019. This foster home caters to young men, ages 18-21 years old, and is located in Wilmington, NC. Goals at our young men’s foster home are the same as for our young ladies’ YAFH in Raleigh – to assist older youth aging out of the foster care system to complete their educations, find jobs, and learn life-skills that will help them transition to independent living.
This newest foster home is next door to the Pine Valley Church of Christ. Don Horton is the foster parent. We are excited to have the Pine Valley congregation as a wonderful resource and support to Don and the young men in his home!
Don experienced a turbulent childhood, himself -- moving from place to place frequently, watching family members engage in substance abuse, with little privacy and theft of personal belongings. At 13, Don’s case worker got him a job working at a children’s summer camp because of his maturity. When Don was 16 years-old, he found and accepted Christ!
After graduating high school, Don served in the Army ReserveNational Guard and, upon returning home, worked at the Armory and doing odd jobs. However, being the oldest of 27 grandchildren and always surrounded by youngsters, Don knew he wanted a career working with kids.
He took some college courses and was eventually hired to work at a 24-hour mental health treatment center for children. Don was employed there for 15 years as a direct care provider for senior youth and as a teacher’s aide. Don taught life skills, like budgeting -- and he modeled others, like appropriate behavior, social aptitude, problem- solving, and communication. Don continued his work at the center while battling cancer and, only retired from it, after suffering an injury that restricted his ability to lift patients with mobility challenges.
The strengths Don brings to AGAPE’s newest YAFH include his personal background and life experience, coupled with the knowledge he acquired working with a young adult population (aged 15+) in a residential setting.
One young man has already been accepted into theWilmington YAFH! Now, AGAPE has only 3 more vacancies left to fill Don’s foster home for young men!