From Detention Facility To Possible Assisted Living Center 7/24/13
July 24, 2013
Odessa - House of the Sycamore Tree is working to become the first 24 hour assisted living facility for intellectually disabled and “at risk” young adults in the Permian Basin. The group is looking to make the former youth detention facility in Pyote their new home.
The program isn’t only for the Midland/Odessa area but for the whole Permian Basin. The numbers of those who need this facility is overwhelming, according to the U.S Census there are just under 50 thousand intellectually challenged in the Permian Basin and more than 125 thousand at-risk students who could use these services.
The facility is a 15-year long dream that is finally becoming a reality for a group of parents and one teacher. “We want to be able to provide a safe environment for kids as they get older even as their parents get older and can’t care for them,” said House of the Sycamore Tree board president Micah Pettigrew.
Pettigrew has watched her students grow and has made it her personal mission to make sure they thrive after they are out of school.
“We have always wondered since the kids have been in LBJ, we have always wondered what happens after graduation, what do we do after that?” said House of the Sycamore Tree treasurer Kelli Lucas.
“I have had parents come up to me and say, ‘we’ve been waiting a long time for this’ and I have parents come up to me and say, ‘he’s just sitting at home looking at the wall.’ I just, I just can’t handle that, I can’t stand the thought of my kids not progressing in their lives, I need them to have a future, that’s very important,” said Pettigrew.
And that’s exactly what this facility will provide, at-risk children with plenty of direction and will be provided with higher educational opportunities; and the intellectually challenged will learn the basics of life.
“My main goal is for him to learn how to get along and live without having to be told, without help, you know be self sufficient,” said parent Vicki Cotton.
Pettigrew says the Pyote facility was an easy choice; it has more than 250 dorms to house the students, a bowling alley, a recreational room and plenty of room to grow. The facility in Pyote has been promised to the group, however they are just waiting on additional funding.
If you would like to make a donation to get the facility up and going – you can send checks to:
House of the Sycamore Tree
PO Box 2089
Odessa, TX 79760