Roane County officials opening safe space for kids removed from

Roane County officials opening safe space for kids removed from meth houses

Posted:
The sheriff of Roane County is working to provide a safe space for kids found living with meth labs.   The house will be called the ABC House for Abused and Battered Children The sheriff of Roane County is working to provide a safe space for kids found living with meth labs. The house will be called the ABC House for Abused and Battered Children
Sheriff Jack Stockton says the project was two years in the making and is a place where children can feel at home after being removed from a dangerous environment. Sheriff Jack Stockton says the project was two years in the making and is a place where children can feel at home after being removed from a dangerous environment.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) - The sheriff of Roane County is working to provide a safe space for kids found living with meth labs. 

The house will be called the ABC House for Abused and Battered Children. The only other thing like this is in the area is the House of Hope in Cumberland County. 

It's a problem we've seen going alongside the meth epidemic across the state. A reminder came Monday when deputies serving a warrant on a home along Emory road found an active meth lab.

Previous story: Meth lab found at N. Knox County home, 3 children taken to hospital

Three children, the youngest just three years old, were living in that same home.

Several area agencies handle those cases, but there's a new effort in Roane County to give kids from meth houses a place of their own while they wait for that help. 

Previous story: Services provided for Tennessee children rescued from meth labs

Right now when children are taken out of a meth lab, they often have to wait for hours inside the sheriff's department. Its a frightening environment, but that's all about to change thanks to one piece of property.

Sheriff Jack Stockton says the project was two years in the making and is a place where children can feel at home after being removed from a dangerous environment.

"It happens pretty regularly, particularly with meth. A lot of times the children are the victims with meth labs, and a lot of times the labs themselves are inside the children's bedroom or sleeping quarters," said Sheriff Stockton.

Deputies found active meth labs inside a Roane County home in April. A six-year-old boy was sleeping in the room. 

Previous story: Roane Co. Sheriff's Office say meth lab busts are traumatic and confusing for kids living in home

In situations like that, the child is taken to the sheriff's department, but with this house they'll have a place to eat and relax while they wait for DCS.

"Here we're hoping to provide a family-like atmosphere with volunteers that are willing to give their time to the community, particularly the children," said the sheriff.

County Commission purchased the building several months ago and is lending it to the sheriff's department. All the furnishings and items for the children will be donated.

"Right now this is free to us and we plan to take advantage of that. We hope to eventually find a permanent home for these kids," the sheriff said. "It's going to be something for the kids, and that's all its about - the kids and their safety."

They have already selected a director and are working on becoming a 501C3. The goal is for doors to open by late summer.

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