Kelly Children’s Home Receives $750,000 grant for renovations

Published 4:39 pm Monday, February 19, 2024

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By Ellen Brabo 

For the Washington Daily News 

 The Kelly Children’s Home, a nonprofit dedicated to providing shelter and care for foster children in Eastern North Carolina, has received a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant for Neighborhood Revitalization (CDBG-NR), marking a significant milestone in its journey to provide housing and support to homeless teens and those aging out of foster care.

 Established with a vision to keep foster children closer to their home communities, co-founders Josh and Alexis Kelly have overcome challenges to realize this dream. After raising $130,000 through community efforts to purchase a former worship center debt-free, the organization now embarks on its next phase: renovating the 10,000 sq. ft.  building into a haven for older teens.

 Yet securing additional funding was no small feat.

 “After purchasing the property…our focus shifted to reviving the 10,000 square foot building, a former church and community center,” explained Kelly. “We stumbled upon the CDBG-NR grant in July 2020, which required intense paperwork and community support.”

 Over 75 letters of support were received from the community, including foster parents, social workers, physicians and educators. The city’s involvement was crucial in helping the Kellys to secure the grant.

 “Their testimonies made our application stand out,” emphasized Alexis.

 The grant will fund renovations to transform the building into a group home. The downstairs area will feature a common living space, dining hall, kitchen, library, offices, computer lab and visitor center. The upstairs, once Sunday school classrooms, will be converted into bedrooms and dorm-style bathrooms, providing housing for 15 older teens.

 The project, unique in its use of the grant for a children’s home, faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic but is now moving forward with urgency.

 “BW Architecture brought innovative solutions to ensure we meet our aggressive timelines,” added Kelly. “Bidding for general contractors is imminent, with construction completion targeted before the end of 2024.”

 The city’s call for general contractor bids is a critical step in the renovation process, ensuring the project can start as soon as possible. This grant marks a new chapter for The Kelly Children’s Home, promising a brighter future for many teens in need.

 For those interested in further information or volunteering opportunities with The Kelly Children’s Home, inquiries can be directed to their email at