The Anchor Commission is celebrating our 50th anniversary this year.
The agency that serves youngsters in Henry and Patrick counties and the City of Martinsville, was started by a committee of concerned citizens headed by Jane Bassett Spilman in April 1972. The first program of the newly formed organization was the Boys Group Home, which is still in operation today.
Over the years, programs at Anchor have included the Group Home for Girls (started in 1973), Foster Group Homes, Wilderness programs, Outreach Detention, Family Preservation, and the Youth Empowering Services (Y.E.S.) educational programs.
Currently, Anchor operates multiple youth centered programs. The Anchor Group Home and Shelter Care for boys (Shelter Care opened in 2020), Seven Challenges and Seven Challenges – Brief (Brief Challenges) which are both Evidence-Based substance use disorder programs specifically for adolescents (male and female), Aggression Replacement Training (A.R.T.) – anger management training (male and female), Outreach Detention and GPS monitoring (male and female), the Transitional Day Program (T.D.P.) (male and female) and Lee Ford Camp in Ridgeway which is open and widely used by the community.
“Anchor is planning celebration events this year and we would love to hear from any past residents or clients of Anchor programs who would like to share their experience at Anchor,” said Ricky Walker, executive director of the organization. “We would also like to hear from any past board members or employees who would like to share their experience.”
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The agency also expressed appreciation to a recent donor, Natalie Gongloff, for “her generous donation … and we challenge the community to join her in financial support of Anchor as we celebrate our 50th anniversary year,” the commission board said in a release.