Baptiste Group Says It Will Serve Migrant Children Instead Of Public Schools; Up To 100 Children To Be Housed At Former Temple Dorm

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Baptiste Group says it will serve migrant children it is bringing to a former Tennessee Temple dorm, and they will not be going to public schools.

The group, in paperwork filed with the state, says up to 100 children will be at the site in Highland Park.

The Baptiste Group said it  entered a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for refugee resettlement.

 It says the contract is to provide housing, personal care, supervision and monitoring for the children.

The group said the dorm will provide short term care, "ideally up to 30 days, until they are united with a sponsor home or appear at an immigration hearing where their arrangements are ordered."

The Baptiste Group said it initially received a child care license effective May 29, 2020 to Aug. 28, 2020. It says that was extended due to the Coronavirus.

It began receiving residents in November and the license was extended through Feb. 27.

The agency is owned by Kevin and Gretchen Baptiste. Terrance Ware is the director of operations, and Reginald Fuller is the director and Landon Zilbert is the facilities manager.

An inspector said she went to the site and was met by Mr. Ware, Mr. Fuller and Mr. Zilbert. She said her temperature was taken and she was checked with a hand wand.

She said the facility appeared to be neat, clean and in good condition. 

All food is provided by an outside entry. The group said it had switched to Laughing Sprouts for that contract.

She said the group said there had been no instances of children running away, but said some asked to stay when it was time to leave. 

They said many of the children were happy having three meals, snacks and a warm bed to sleep in.

The group said one resident was punching walls. The child was given a mental evaluation and moved to a more appropriate facility.

There had been nine children placed by the group. 

Most of the children are discharged prior to staying there for 60 days, it was stated.

Several children who spoke with the inspector said they felt safe and well cared for at the facility.

There are 61 staff members at the facility on Vance Avenue that is leased by the Redemption to the Nations church that acquired the property of Highland Park Baptist Church in 2014. 

 


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