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Hoyleton Ministries serving diverse population innovatively for more than a century

   Since 1895, Hoyleton Ministries – Hoyleton Youth and Family Services, Puentes de Esperanza and the Hoyleton Children’s Home Foundation – have been dedicated to helping all people realize the quality of life that God intends for them. For 118 years, the nonprofit organization has continuously served a diverse, growing population across Southwestern Illinois.
   “Our staff provides compassionate care to thousands of children who have, through no fault of their own, entered the child welfare system,” said Chris Cox, president and CEO of Hoyleton Ministries. “We spend countless hours working to heal the physical and emotional wounds of clients in our care. Prayer and discernment has led us to focus on families that are still living together but experiencing difficulties. Innovation has come to Hoyleton in the form of several new preventative programs, designed to strengthen and lift up families on the brink of crisis.”
   The faith-based organization’s roots are planted deep within Southern Illinois. Cox says its dedicated board of directors – which includes chairman Wayne Barber Jr., co-principal of BARBERMurphy Group in Shiloh – is constantly  seeking additional business leadership.
   “We’re grateful to Wayne Barber for his instrumental leadership and his generous financial support of Hoyleton Ministries,” said Cox. “BARBERMurphy has played a big role in what we do. As an organization, we’re always looking to develop more relationships with area businesses that are able to provide services to the most vulnerable members of our communities.”
   Hoyleton provides 17 different services throughout Southwestern Illinois. Of those, Cox says, is a foster care facility in East St. Louis that has 225 children from birth through age 19.
   The Hoyleton Children’s Home is a residential treatment program that provides compassionate care for children and adolescents with an average IQ in the 50s.  Youth between the ages of 9 and 21 are assisted in a campus setting in rural Hoyleton, Ill. Each child learns how to positively change behavior, achieve established educational goals and live in community with others. The healing process, says public relations coordinator Molly Ronsick, involves therapeutic recreation, individual and group counseling sessions, specialized education programs and healthcare services. The home also provides case management, vocational training and job placement programs.
   Residential services at Hoyleton are licensed by the Illinois Dept. of Children and Family Services and accredited by the Council On Accreditation of Services for Families and Children.
   As children age into adulthood, without an organization like Hoyleton Ministries, many with developmental disabilities do not have the option to move on into an adult environment that meets their needs. That’s where the nonprofit’s new development, its Community Integrated Living Arrangement or CILA, stands in the gap.
   “Hoyleton Ministries now provides the same compassionate care as in the residential program,” said Cox, adding that CILA assists those who have aged out children’s services by guiding them into secondary education, vocational school or wherever their goals lead them. CILA also helps each young adult gain a foothold in his or her local community by assigning the individual a professional case manager for advocacy and support.
   A relatively new outreach that Hoyleton Ministries is offering to a growing number of Hispanic clients, Cox says, is a Spanish-speaking interpreter. “Department of Children and Family Services doesn’t have a Spanish-speaking staff member in the southern region, and often, even if there was not a problem, the child had to be removed because the parents couldn’t communicate with the DCFS worker and there was no one available to translate and make sure everything was alright,” he said. “Thanks to our program, Puentes de Esperanza (Bridges of Hope), we’ve been able to provide interpretation and translation services to try to keep more children in homes, which is also less burden on the taxpayer.”
   For more information on Hoyleton Ministries and for info on sponsoring or playing in its annual golf tournament July 19th, call 618-493-7575 and visit

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