After reading the articles and opinion columns written about Ryan’s House, I decided to visit the facility, speak with the personnel and volunteers and make up my own mind regarding the controversy.
I left with a decidedly pro-Ryan’s House view and a deeper understanding of what services are provided to both age groups. First, there are very few youth under 18 years old who even approach Ryan’s House for assistance!
When they do, they are provided immediate counsel to determine if they can return to their own family with an intermediary to provide family support. If that isn’t possible, there are vetted host families available to step in and care for them.
This separate age grouping is not new at Ryan’s House. It is a perfectly legal undertaking and has been in place for three years with no adverse incidents. In fact, had there been anything at all detrimental, the state would not have even considered approving the $200,000 grant from the onset! Now it seems that politics have entered the picture!
I’m an ardent supporter of law enforcement, as well as Norma Smith, whom I believe is a well intentioned legislator. However, I don’t think they took in the positive benefit with proven positive outcomes and no negative reports provided by Ryan’s House. And I’m sure had there been any negative results at all they would have been duly reported in this “rush to negative reporting” climate! If there was an adverse negative incident they could cite I would understand their position, but there is not! Period!
Our unique island bus service provides safe available transportation and stops directly across from Ryan’s House. Many of the over-18 youth have jobs and are able to not only learn valuable skills but they pay back a percentage of their earnings for their food and lodging, thereby learning responsibility and to give back.
I invite everyone who truly cares about the plight of these youth to visit Ryan’s House as I did and form your own conclusions.
I truly believe Ryan’s House and its dedicated caregivers provide a sorely needed service in this broken family world.
GLORIA P. RUPLE