Eileen & Callie’s Place – Our Story
Eileen & Callie’s Place is a 501(c)(3) organization committed to empowering, educating and training young women aged out of foster care. Empowering – creating a new normal through self-actualization; Educating – personalized for each individual: Training – walking alongside, just like training wheels.
Established in 2014 by Dr. Natalie Ellington, Eileen & Callie’s Place was the response to a heart cry. Years earlier Dr. Ellington had been made aware of the plight of young girls aged out of the foster care system. Consumed at that time with a full time job and various community projects, she filed that information on the back burner of her brain and went about living life.
Life changed for her in 2010. Natalie found herself unemployed and relentlessly searching for clients for her own consulting firm. Tired of the nickel and dime results and mounting stress, she made that life-changing prayer, “Lord, I need to be involved in something bigger than myself and I can’t spend my time just trying to pay my bills.” He answered that prayer and reminded her of these young girls. She began to research solutions to that heart cry.
Named after her mother (Eileen) and her mother-in-law (Callie), two women who steadfastly helped others outside of their immediate families, Eileen & Callie’s Place began to take form. The initial plan was a two-year “transitional home”; but after repeated and in-depth conversations with young ladies who had aged out, it became clear that what they needed and wanted was much more than a roof over their head. They wanted and needed genuine relationships; mentors who were truly concerned about their well-being and their future. It was evident that the solution to what these young ladies needed was clearly stated in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”. These young ladies needed hope and a vision of a great future.
The board of directors was formed, state and federal papers were filed to establish the non-profit, and the development of an organization that would empower, educate, and train these young ladies began to take shape. The home was just the stabilizing foundation for the process to take place.
The revised plan provides a home for them until their 25th birthday and within that family environment each young lady will be encouraged to explore their unique gifts and the dreams that they’ve held in their hearts over the years. Life skills, educational opportunities and career exploration will be conducted on an individual and personal basis.