The goal of every architect is to enhance people’s lives and the environment in which they live. As a residential architect, I know I can positively impact people’s everyday lives with great design in ways that are very personal and intimate. This is especially true for children. As they grow, their home and environment helps shape and influence them for the rest of their lives. A place to feel safe gives them the freedom to learn and grow in a loving environment. As Dorothy so succinctly put it, “There’s no place like home.”
Not all children are given the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment that is safe. This is not acceptable. Thankfully, there are families and organizations that are seeking to help those in need.
Housing Design Matters is proud to partner with MasterCraft Builder Group and Davis Bews Design Group to create a home for children in need at Seamark Ranch. The ranch has been operating since 2007 and has served over 100 children, providing opportunities that otherwise would not have been available and helping guide them to success in a safe and nurturing environment. Currently, the ranch has two residences: One boys’ home and one girls’ home. Last year, the ranch welcomed 7 new children. Unfortunately, they also had to turn away others because they were at full capacity.
They are now expanding with two additional homes to accommodate more children in need. This is where we come in to team up with MasterCraft. The goal is for each residence look and function as the homes that they are: Warm, welcoming and not at all institutional.
Each home provides a place to grow for six to eight children and is headed by house parents (guardian angels, if you ask me) – many of whom have children of their own. So, we design these houses for very large families: Kitchens that can prepare meals for a small army, dining spaces that seat up to twelve people, super-sized laundry rooms, family rooms that are large yet intimate enough for gathering, and personalized bedrooms where every boy or girl has a safe and secure place to lay their heads.
In addition to housing, the ranch provides a variety of programs including counseling, full K-12 education, and even a full working farm and equestrian program where children learn teamwork, responsibility, and care for animals. Our part in the project is special, but the Seamark Ranch team deserves all the credit for offering these children something that might not have been available to them before: A chance. I encourage anyone to check out the ranch, whether online or in person and learn the various ways to contribute to their cause.
There are many opportunities to make a difference in a child’s life. Will you join us in helping to create a safe, secure, nurturing place for children in need? There really is no place like home.