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 The Pythian Home
The Texas Pythian Home in Weatherford provides a family to protect children from an uncertain world.
Children from all over the state come to the facility that is famous for looking like a castle. It is indeed a place where they can feel like
a prince or princess as they get the hope and direction.
At the beginning of summer 2018, the Pythian Home was a home for 17 children,
eight girls and nine boys. They come from family backgrounds that have often found them struggling and frightened, needing some- one to show them they care.
“Children come here for a lot of reasons connected to their family, job loss, home- lessness, incarceration, sub- stance abuse,” said Kristin Watson, Pythian Home mar- keting coordinator.
“Our main goal is to get the child back with the family.”
The Pythian Home is free for children. The entire time a youngster is in their care they don’t have to worry about a thing. Even insurance is pro- vided.
The Pythian Home typical- ly accepts children ages 3-14. However, they have kept some through college in an inde- pendent living capacity, and once had a 17-year-old admit himself.
The nonprofit facility includes four dormitories. They are overseen by a direct- care staff of husband-and-wife teams. Off-campus sponsor families take the children in one weekend each month and a week during the summer.
Also, the Pythian Home works to have the children spend a week each summer with their actual family if cir- cumstances are in order.
First-hand experience
Watson knows first-hand the success of the Pythian Home. Her family moved there in 1990 when she was just three months old. Her mother, Lisa Watson, is the administrator. Her father runs the maintenance department, her grandmother is the kitchen supervisor, and her aunt is a cook.
“It seriously is a family home,” Watson said with a smile. “Even the ones who aren’t related to us, we’re all family.”
It’s been that way since the Pythian Home opened
its doors in 1909 as a home for widows and orphans of Knights of Pythias members. The home was placed in Weatherford because of a gen- erous land donation, and peo- ple continue to donate today.
The facility operates strictly on donations.
“If we took state funding we’d become more of a res- idential treatment center,” Watson said.
The Pythian Home holds various fundraisers. Some aren’t even meant to be fund- raisers, but once folks see those young faces they want to give, Watson said. A prime example is the 2017 Christmas at the Castle.
“We were just having an open house event and people donated,” she said.
While they are always in need of donations to help with the children, there are also other needs, such as repairing the auditorium on the third floor of the main building. It was damaged in August of 2017 by a pair of storms that converged.
Repairs began in summer of 2018, and the completed
auditorium will be larger than before.
About the same time they also started restoring the orig- inal dining room on the first floor.
Land has been desig- nated on the campus for a Family Care Center. The home launched a campaign called “Thousand for a Thousand,” asking 1,000 people to donate $1,000 each.
“They can get on a pay- ment plan. They don’t have to pay all at once,” Watson said.
The Family Care Center is for single mothers and children. The women can get therapy and counseling, job training, and training for life skills and even finances.
“When they leave our pro- gram they’ll be ready to take on life again,” Watson said.
74 2019
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