- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - York’s Epworth Village has closed its satellite group home operation in Grand Island because of high operating costs, the organization’s CEO said.

Epworth CEO Harrietta Reynolds told The Grand Island Independent (http://bit.ly/1BUfxXM ) that the Grand Island operation had become too expensive to run. The home was licensed to hold 10 boys ages 12 through 18 and had six in residence when it closed late last year.

The home opened in 1999 across a street from Grand Island Senior High School, but Reynolds said most of the boys couldn’t attend Grand Island public schools because of behavioral problems.

“There were some times where they could be mainstreamed into certain classes in a public school, and that happened on occasion, but not to a great extent,” Reynolds said.

The home had served boys who were wards of the state who had contact with the court system, had run away from home, had come from abusive homes or were preparing to return home after receiving mental health treatment.

“The boys would attend our school (in York), so we had to be transporting them a lot,” Reynolds said. “It wasn’t really a practical thing after a while.” York is about 45 miles east of Grand Island.

Epworth Village was called Mother’s Jewels Home when it was founded in York in 1889 by the Women’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It was renamed Epworth Village in 1959 and it eventually undertook the mission of helping children and families with severe emotional and behavioral disorders.

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Information from: The Grand Island Independent, http://www.theindependent.com

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