Posted by Terry Everett on Nov 28, 2018
    Tawni Hodge has been a volunteer for many years, but it was about eight years ago when it really became serious.  After years of serving at a juvenile detention center, Tawni discovered a great unmet need.  It was when she noticed "a bunch of hurt little boys" who were coming out of the juvenile system who were angry, lost and in trouble with society.  She knew they needed a safe place that could help them build a new foundation for a brighter future.
    They didn't have any reason to know what they should be doing because they were never taught by their parents.  In order to keep these young men out of prison men and help them become responsible citizens they have to be shown something totally different from what they have known.  This is where the House of Eli makes a difference.
    The House of Eli is a non-profit organization which strives to offer young men who have been through the juvenile justice system, tools and opportunities to build lives that don't involve adult prison.  Though forced into adult roles prematurely, they are emotionally immature, lack education, are angry and scared.  When these young men come to live at the House of Eli, they become part of a healthy family environment.  They see that the past has shaped who they are but it does not control who they will become.
    The boys come to the House of Eli by choice.  They are not court appointed  or referred.  They know what they are signing up for and must respect the program.  
    Everything done at the House of Eli is designed around the idea that a safe, secure home is God's design for where healthy kids are grown.  They try to operate as much like a real family as possible.  
    They start from the basics in every area.  Tawni said they learn, play, cook, clean, work together.  They strive to help these young men redefine "normal" across the board.
    Experience is a great teacher, and the young men gain practical knowledge by working for Eli Bros.  Every day the young men are assigned to work crews that work on "see houses."  They earn for themselves and the House of Eli while learning construction and business skills.  
    The House of Eli can take in a maximum of nine boys.  There is no set time frame they have to stay, but they must follow the rules.