Lighthouse Youth & Family Services is a fulfillment of the dream of a group of citizens from the Baptist Women’s Fellowship in Cincinnati and others who sought a better future for young people and families. The agency was founded in 1969. Lighthouse opened the first group home for girls in the state of Ohio the following year.
Lighthouse is a leader and pioneer in developing services, some of which are national models of innovation and efficacy.
- 1969: Lighthouse incorporated as New Life for Girls.
- 1970: Lighthouse opens Schott Group Home.
- 1974: Lighthouse opened the Youth Crisis Center, Cincinnati’s first and only runaway shelter.
- 1978: The Youth Development Center opened. Originally a group home for boys and girls, the Youth Development Center now provides long-term care for boys.
- 1979: Lighthouse began offering Foster Care services. The agency is the largest foster care provider in Hamilton County.
- 1980: Lighthouse started Youth Housing Opportunities. This service offers young adults the tools needed to move toward self sufficiency while living independently. Each youth receives a furnished apartment and life skills training.
- 1986: Lighthouse opened Ohio’s first private corrections facility for youth. Lighthouse Youth Center at Paint Creek is a national model for juvenile correctional treatment reform.
- 1987: Lighthouse renamed the Schott Group Home as New Beginnings.
- 1996: Lighthouse opened its second day treatment program. Located in Dayton, Ohio, this program serves Montgomery County youth released from the Lighthouse Youth Center at Paint Creek as well as youth referred from other youth service organizations.
- 2000: The Lighthouse Community School opened. The charter school, sponsored by Cincinnati Public Schools, serves children in Lighthouse residential services and other children in the child welfare system in Hamilton County.
- 2005: The Lighthouse Individualized Docket Team was formed to work collaboratively with the Hamilton County Juvenile Court to help youth with histories of serious mental health and/or substance abuse who were facing delinquency charges.
- 2006: The Lighthouse Reentry program began serving youth returning to the community from juvenile corrections facilities.
- 2012: The Lighthouse Sheakley Center for Youth opened.
- 2013: Lighthouse announces an initiative to end youth homelessness in Cincinnati by 2020.
- 2015: Lighthouse buys property in Walnut Hills (2314 Iowa Avenue) to build “A Place to Call Home,” a multipurpose facility designed to provide a seamless system of care for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. The facility’s design includes permanent supportive housing and a shelter.
- 2016: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Renewal(HUD) awarded $3.8 million to Strategies to End Homelessness in partnership with Lighthouse to foster innovation toward ending youth homelessness in Cincinnati/Hamilton County. HUD awarded the Youth Homlessness Demonstration Program grant to only 10 communities.
- 2016: Construction begins on the new Lighthouse Sheakley Center for Youth at 2314 Iowa Avenue in Walnut Hills.
- 2018: Lighthouse Sheakley Center for Youth opens. The building houses 36 individual shelter bedrooms for youth ages 18-24, 39 apartments, and a day resource center.
- 2018: The Youth Crisis Center is renamed Mecum House and moves from Clifton to 2522 Highland Avenue in Corryville, the former site of the Lighthouse Sheakley Center for Youth.