HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Harris Home for Children opened its doors in 1954 and has been serving kids in North Alabama and beyond ever since. Over the years, the nonprofit has helped thousands of young people.

The organization is reintroducing itself to the growing community. Nonprofit staff say that with so many people moving to the area, even though the organization has served Huntsville for decades, there are those who haven’t heard of Harris Home for Children. The nonprofit is also looking for dedicated community support through its Harris Home Heroes fundraising effort.

Reggie McKenzie, who works for the organization, says DHR reduced its funding in 2019. During the pandemic, Harris Home for Children and many other nonprofits faced more financial hardship.

“We’re looking for about 25 to 30 organizations and businesses to help us with our ‘Tripple H program’, that’s our Harris Home Heroes. And we need that to bring us back to where we were before the pandemic,” McKenzie said.

The nonprofit provides many residential foster programs, including crisis services. It is one of the few nonprofits that provides emergency foster care in the state.

The crisis program provides housing for a maximum of 60 days for kids who need immediate out-of-home care.

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Harris Home for Children also offers basic residential programs, services for kids experiencing a mental health diagnosis, and an independent living program.

The Independent Living program is for young people ages 18-21. Residents live in apartments subsidized by the nonprofit. The program helps young people transition to living independently. 

McKenzie says many people released from foster care become homeless. He says this program helps teach skills like cooking, cleaning, and paying rent. The United Way partner also works with other agencies that continue to assist young people who leave their care, ensuring they can successfully live on their own.