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VIDALIA, GA –
Every year, Chatham County taxpayers spend enormous amounts of money on youth in state juvenile detention centers, but a unique program right in our backyard is changing that.
Since 2004, the Paul Anderson Youth Home has saved Chatham County taxpayers more than $2-million and since 1961 has given many young men a much needed second chance – chance experts like Adam Kennedy say is much needed.
“Probably the vast majority of the kids that go through the [Youth Detention Center] system actually could use an alternative placement other than that,” said Kennedy, the Court Administrator for Chatham County Juvenile Court.
According to Kennedy, the rate of youths returning to criminal behavior in savannah is between 40-50%, but for the boys who graduate from PAYH, that number drops to less than 10%.
“Most of them will graduate with a high school diploma if they don’t then they’ll have their GED,” adds PAYH Advancement Officer, Victoria Shuman. “We give our boys an opportunity to change and give them a second chance to be successful.”
The program certainly isn’t easy and not every boy makes it through, but Shuman says those who buy into it and work hard, are rewarded in the end.
“We show them love, we help them reach things they never thought possible.”
There are 11 young men in the program now but they can take up to 20 at a time, all between the ages of 16 and 20.
For more information on Paul Anderson Youth Home, click here.