Renaissance Home for Youth

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The Renaissance Home for Youth is a criminal rehabilitation center located near Alexandria, Louisiana, USA at 6177 Bayou Rapides Road in western Rapides Parish co-founded in 1972 by Guy E. Humphries, Jr. (1922–2010), a Ninth Judicial District Court judge, Dr. Glenn Earl Bryant (1922–2003),[1] then the pastor of the large downtown Emmanuel Baptist Church, and George M. Foote (1919–2010), the Alexandria municipal judge at the time. The center is a non-profit corporation financed from mostly originally donated assets.[2] The facility was established to meet the "need apparent for an alternative to adult jail or reform school warehousing for kids (boys and girls) who deserved a second chance".

Robert J. "Bob" Tillie (born ca. 1944) of Pineville, the Renaissance founding executive director from 1973–2006, told the Alexandria Daily Town Talk on the occasion of Judge Humphries' death that the jurist in particular had been highly "supportive of a place for juveniles to have a second chance. He was very caring of kids in need."[2]

Land for the home came from an abandoned vegetable farm owned by Central Louisiana State Hospital of Pineville. Civic clubs organized to renovate a former "potato shed" to house the first twelve boys in the program. The facility opened in March 1973. A grant was approved by the Red River Delta planning district and the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement. In 1974 Renaissance was licensed by the State of Louisiana, and a two-mil ad valorem tax was approved by voters to support the home, a showcase experiment under a law known as the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974.[3]

In 1976 a renovated secure detention center was authorized under a capital improvement plan. The first female facility was added in 1977. A new center and administrative complex opened in 1985. In 1986 a shelter-care facility called the Hathorn Center opened, named for Edgar C. Hathorn (1921–1987),[1] the owner of Hathorn Transfer and Storage of Alexandria and a former member of the Rapides Parish Police Jury. A one-room school opened in 2000, followed by a covered basketball court in 2004, and the Renaissance Education Center in 2008.[3]

Ad valorem funding was renewed by voters in 1984, 1994, 2004, and 2014.[4] State grants also assist in funding the facility. The center was first accredited by the American Correctional Association in 1996 and since re-accredited in 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2008. Since 1973, there have been nearly twelve thousand admissions to the home.[3]

Dr. Glenn Bryant was the first chairman of the Renaissance board, and served from 1973 to 1976. He was succeeded by Sarah Frances Anders, a sociologist at Louisiana College in Pineville, who served in 1977. Edgar Hathorn was chairman from 1984 to 1987. Mayor David C. Butler of Woodworth served as chairman from 1999 to 2000. Alexandria businessman Edwin J. Caplan presided during 2004, and Robbie Laborde was appointed in 2009.[3]

The Renaissance address is P.O. Box 7997, Alexandria, LA 71306.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Richard P. Sharkey, "Retired Judge Humphries, Co-founder of Renaissance Home, dies in Alexandria", Alexandria Daily Town Talk, March 23, 2010
  3. ^ a b c d "Renaissance: Our History". renaissancehome.org. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Results for 5/3/2014: Rapides Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved May 4, 2014.