Land donation to Sunrise sets the stage for visionary foster care model in Central Ky

For years, longtime Clark Co. educator Ms. Judy Huls Singleton has dreamed of helping hurting children in need through foster care. She made a promise to her father to one day utilize their Winchester family farm in a way that benefits kids. Now, thanks to her magnanimous 130-acre land donation to Sunrise Children’s Services in late 2016, her God-given vision for the Solid Rock Children’s Ranch is becoming a reality.

Just recently, the Solid Rock Children’s Ranch sign was erected at 1956 Stoner-Ephesus Road in Winchester. It is there that a community of care will eventually be established to provide safe and loving homes that keep at-risk sibling groups together in a foster care setting.

“This is not only a generous donation to Sunrise but an incredible gift to Clark Co. that brings a forward-thinking child welfare model to this area of the state,” said Randy Greene, special grants coordinator for Sunrise Children’s Services. “Since Judy made this sacrificial gift to our ministry, we’ve been sharing the Solid Rock vision and her story with churches and other groups throughout the region to generate financial support for the project.”

Solid Rock Children’s Ranch will integrate foster families into a functional, working 130-acre farm that uses agricultural revenue, animal/plant therapies, and third-party reimbursements to support the innovative program. Over time, Sunrise’s plan is to develop a 15-acre area of the farm in two phases:

  1. The first phase of the project will establish the necessary infrastructure – road, water, septic, and electric – as well as the first of two five-bedroom homes.
  2. The second phase of the project is the construction of the second five-bedroom home on the property.

Per an agreement with Sunrise, Ms. Singleton will live in her homeplace on the farm and also has use of the buildings around it for her lifetime. As a Sunrise-certified respite care provider, Ms. Singleton will play a vital role in assisting with the day-to-day activities of the families and children. Having been a teacher, she has experience working with children and will serve the new Sunrise community in a caretaker role, providing support and guidance as needed.

“A foster home is a very special environment for children and those who live out God’s calling to care for ‘the least of these’ by opening their homes and hearts to them. Solid Rock Children’s Ranch will be an incredibly life-changing experience for both the kids and foster parents, who will be surrounded by a strong support system ready to serve with time, talents, compassion, and love,” said Sunrise President Dale Suttles. “We oftentimes see sibling groups broken apart physically and emotionally by separate foster care placements because homes aren’t large enough to house them together. Sunrise is incredibly grateful to Ms. Singleton for this gift of compassion that addresses this particular challenge head on and extends our work further throughout Kentucky to help make hurting kids whole again while keeping family members together.”

Any speaker requests or questions related to fundraising for the Solid Rock Children’s Ranch project should be directed to Randy Greene at Sunrise.

Sunrise Children’s Services offers Kentucky’s hurting children and families a continuum of Christ-centered care, including therapeutic, residential, and foster care programs for abused, abandoned, and victimized children throughout the state. Sunrise’s nonprofit ministry began in 1869 — today, it is a fully licensed behavioral health service organization helping change the lives of at-risk children throughout the Commonwealth. For more information or to learn how you can help a child in crisis, visit www.sunrise.org.

Written by Melissa Bailey, Sunrise Children’s Services Marketing Director

Kait Flora