Bookmark and Share

Katey Discovers Help In New Service

December 2, 2008

By J. Blake Ragsdale

Katey couldn’t believe it. Her checking account was $140.00 in the negative. “This can’t be right!” Katey tells Melony, the resident manager at Noel Home.

The teenager has been a resident at Baptist Children’s Homes’ group home in Lenoir since March. “My balance on the bank’s website says my account is okay.”

Melony made a phone call to the bank while the teen paced frantically around the living room.

Unfortunately, the bank confirmed Katey had overdrawn her account. Melony discovered Katey was not balancing her checkbook. Instead, she was depending on the bank’s online website service to monitor her funds. There were several transactions that had not yet shown up on her web-based account.

“Let’s go to the bank and deposit a little money,” says Melony grabbing the car keys. “When we get back, I’ll show you how to balance your checkbook.”

Later, Katey sat down with Melony to come up with a solution. Katey borrowed the money she needed from Noel Home and agreed on a repayment schedule.

The teenager breathed a sigh of relief. “I felt so irresponsible. I thought I knew all about banking before coming to Noel Home.”

Noel Home provides residential transitional living service for older girls. The goal is to aid residents to be successful and self-sufficient as they prepare for independent living as adults.

Before coming to Noel Home, Katey lived at Broyhill Home in Clyde. Instability at home made it impossible for Katey to live with her mother. The teen was not old enough, or prepared, to be on her own. After living at Broyhill Home for a time, Katey was recommended for transitional living.

“It’s a group home setting like at Broyhill Home, but I have more freedom,” Katey explains. “They’ve allowed me to make more decisions on my own, and they’re there to help me be independent.”

Katey juggles working at a local restaurant while attending school. She also attended real estate class and participated in a medical transcriptions course.

“I’m thinking about going to college to become a nurse so I’m learning the terminology,” Katey says. “I could not have done any of these things if I hadn’t been at Noel Home.”

Katey has also discovered a joy for cooking at the group home.

“I love baking cakes, cookies, cupcakes,” she says. “I love to try new things. I made a strawberry swirl recently.”

Katey is being “fed” spiritually as well. The girls attend Lower Creek Baptist Church in Lenoir and are very involved with the youth.

“My relationship with God has grown,” Katey says. “Even when I leave I want to be in church. I have to continue to pray and read my Bible so my relationship with God will stay strong.

“I also hope I can encourage my mom and family to go to church,” she continues. “I want them to start living for God. I want God to turn my family’s life around.”

Katey is close to completing her goals at Noel Home. When she leaves, she will live with her sister as she makes plans for her future.

“I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for Noel Home,” Katey says.