First Prom Dress-up at Serena House
Paula Hobbs, 1st House Mom, with Resident heading to Prom.
Why the Serena House?
CAM, Inc is very concerned about affordable safe housing and have developed the Serena Youth Center where a young woman, between the ages of 18 to 25 years old, can pay $200.00 a month for Permanent Housing with House Parents. Our House Parent is Sheri Hale, who is an ordained Chaplain.
The Youth moving in are on the path of developing their lives and completing their education. We have developed "Grandmothers and Aunts" to help give rides and help with fund raising for the Serena House to keep our doors open. Several nights, the "Grandmothers and Aunts" prepare meals for 6 p.m. dinners. There are some "Grandparents" that love to cook, but do not get out much - so they cook and others carry the food in.
Advantage Housing is providing maintenance.
The CAM Board of Directors
Approved this Step of Faith On May 19, 2014
Hoyt Alexander, Chair,
Brenda Underwood, Vice Chair, Jamie Kilcline, Secretary,
Debbie Norris, Treasurer, Debbie West, Eunice Jackson,
Gene Kostrewa, Dottie Burns, Nancy Hefley,
and Rev. Ruth Lawson, Executive Director
Very Special Thanks to Sheila Dehaven
for all her creativity and hours of hard work
painting, decorating, and furnishing the
Serena Youth Center to make it feel like home
for four young women.
Move In Date was December 1, 2014.
Who is Serena Utley?
Serena Mae Utley was born on October 26, 1977. From an early age she embraced Kokomo’s community life through ballet and tap, Audible Omni and Girl Scouts. By the time she was a freshman at Kokomo High School, Serena was a member of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, National Junior Honor Society, Students Taking a New Direction, KATbackers, Fort Nightly, Curtain Call Theater for Children, Creative Writing Club, Future Problem Solving Club and KHS volleyball and intermural tennis teams. That is what she did.
This is who she was: a fun-loving young teen who, like her peers, had hopes and dreams. She once told her parents she felt lucky to have so much, yet sad that other kids had such little. Someday, she said, she would find a way to help them.
When she was diagnosed with cancer at age 14, Serena said to her mom, “You know, except for the leukemia, I’ve had a wonderful life.” From 1977 to September 7, 1992, Serena lived a full and joyful life. She touched many people with her love and contageous smile. Serena planned to one day open a youth shelter so that teens who weren’t so lucky could get a second chance.
The name ‘Serena’ means calm, tranquil, and serene. This is our wish for all the young women who come through the doors of 1705 South Washington: to have a calm and peaceful home.
Thanks to the Many Donors Who Helped Purchase & Furnish The Serena Youth Center
Alex Gardner, Altrusa, Barbara Middleton, Beach Girls from the Kokomo Great Banquet, Ben and Sheila DeHaven Family, Burnett’s Service Center, Diane & David Turner, Dick & Bev Broeker, Eugene
Kelly, Faith UM Women, 1st Bank of Berne, 1st Evangelical
Presbyterian Church, 1st Farmers Bank and Trust, First Giving,
Frances Jones, Grace UM Women, Helen Herrell, In Memory of
Amber Davidson, In Memory of Stephen Wood, James & Judith Hill,
James Smith, James & Marilyn Stokesberry, Janet Wiechman – Stony
Brook Ladies Bridge Group, Jay & Debbie Breisch, John and Mary
Lou Snead, Judith Dean, Kathy Boger, Lois McKean, Lutheran Ch.
of Our Redeemer, Main Street UMC, Main Street UM Women, Main
Street UM Men, Martin Wrecker Services, Mary Carden – Financial
Solutions & Investments, Mary Peabody, McIntyre, Holligoss, Vent
&Welke, Morning Star Church, Myra & Charles Sanburn, Nancy
Landis, Power House Club Fitness 24, Quilts by Christ Lutheran
Church, Rita Drool & Michelle Swisher, Rosemary Quakenbush,
St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church Moms Ministry, St. Joseph Hospital,
St. Luke’s UMC, St. Luke’s UM Women, Shiloh UM Women,
Stanley & Patricia Shuey, Sycamore Friends Church, The Order of
the Eastern Star, Thomas & Shelia Behler, and Zion UM Women.
Additional Thanks To :
Jansen’s Asphalt for repair of driveway;
Carpenter’s Local #615 donated $2,160 worth of labor; Advantage
Housing gave & built in the shower for House Parent’s Bathroom;
H & W Property Inspection donated their inspection; Kevin Hardie
Group worked many hours to help make thisdream become a reality;
Helen Herrell worked many hours with several groups to stock the
kitchen:Thanks to JML, Erwin Cox Home Inspection & Construction,
and Isley’s Plumbingfor their timely hard work; Thanks to Steve &
Sheilah Utley Bower for helping us buy their home.
And, in particular,
thanks to The Crossing for supplying the first young woman who
is now the RA (Resident Assistant). The Crossing also helped
support the Serena Youth Center with supporting beds for the
first three months of opening.
(Please forgive me, if I have overlooked someone’s name.)
To Contributions: Mail to “CAM for Serena”
PO Box 523
Kokomo, IN 46903
Or on this website ~ CAMincHopeForHomeless.org