Rainbow Children’s Home

Community jemcf storiesofchange rainbowchildrenshome 1380x776

Since opening in 2000 as a home of hope and opportunity, Rainbow Children’s Home, in Dahlonega, has provided shelter for abused and neglected girls. Almost 800 children ages 12 to 18 have found refuge here after suffering trauma from sexual abuse, eating disorders, self-harm or other issues.

“Rainbow Children’s Home is a place where girls who have seen the worst of humanity can come to find hope, security and opportunity,” says Executive Director Melinda Frausto. “As these girls fight the uphill battles of finding self-worth, academic success and a plan for the future, the staff works to meet physical and emotional needs.”

The organization’s Jackson EMC Foundation grant went beyond the basics of food, clothing and shelter to provide substance abuse treatment, independence and wellness training, and community involvement.

“Beyond the Basics focuses on personal well-being and planning for the future to help girls break free from the cycles of poverty and abuse to become productive members of their community,” says Frausto. “Many of these girls have coped with emotional trauma, physical abuse or sexual abuse by self-harming, binge eating and using alcohol or drugs. We teach positive coping mechanisms and provide a support system as they work to break unhealthy habits. We teach our residents how to build and live successful, healthy and independent lives.”

As girls become acclimated to their new home – complete with four bedrooms and two bathrooms to serve eight children at a time – attention turns to other important items, like health and wellness; focusing on schoolwork, college and career goals; living independently by learning how to drive a car, manage money, and keep a house; and community involvement, with girls encouraged to join clubs or do volunteer work.

“We instill practical knowledge that will empower them to become successful adults,” says Frausto. “We do a lot of college, tech school and career prep like teaching them how to interview for a job, how to build a resume, and how to apply to college. We focus on finances by getting them a student bank account and teaching them how to manage their money. We try to help them look toward the future.”

The girls live in a typical northeast Georgia home that operates like a family household.

“We cook, we clean, we do laundry, and we’re teaching the girls all of these things as we go,” says Frausto, who has headed Rainbow Children’s Home since it opened in 2000. “I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing in my life.”

Visit Rainbow Children's Home Website