New direction planned for former Southwest Va. orphanage - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

New direction planned for former Southwest Va. orphanage

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BRISTOL, Va. (AP) -- The board of a former orphanage in Bristol is plotting a new direction for the facility.

Founded in 1936, the Janie Hammit Home served disadvantaged and orphaned children. The 18-bed facility stopped residential operations last fall after its population dropped to three girls. Its board decided last week to formally discontinue residential services.

Board member John Kieffer tells the Bristol Herald Courier that the board has been speaking with groups about renting the facility. The board also plans to establish a scholarship program and hopes to use the rental income to support it.

Kieffer says the Virginia Department of Social Services had placed fewer children at the facility as the emphasis shifted to one-on-one foster care.

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