Aspen opened a third group home in February of 2020. Thanks to generous donors and our community partners the home underwent a large renovation and opened it's doors to three youth who now call this house their home. The youth and staff named the new house Bear Lodge Group Home and they chose this name because bears stand tall in the face of adversity, they are bold, physically strong, protective and gentle. They leave footprints, allowing us to look back at the journey and see the progress to be made moving forward. The youth and staff now have a beautiful home to move their story forward courageously in.
See the before and after photos of Aspen's group home in the video below!
In the process of designing the new Bear Lodge Group Home the Youth Portfolio hosted a Youth Advisory Forum, with the goal of gaining knowledge from youth experiences to help guide the development of the new group home. The team wanted to ensure that we were working alongside the youth to create the most comfortable, supportive environment.
Youth who have lived experience being in care (involved in group care programs, Youth Transitions to Adulthood (YTA), Youth Re-engagement, and "graduates" of YTA) were invited to share their viewpoints. The youth were asked about what helped them feel welcome and safe in their experiences of group care, how staff can best support the youth to meet their goals, what the youth feel are significant experiences which shape their journeys to adulthood and were even able to collaborate with an interior designer to give their input on design features.
To learn more about the youth feedback for the new home, check out the blog post linked below.