A Cincinnati Foundation Offers Largest Donation Ever to Children's Home of Northern Kentucky

Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky today announced that it has received a $1 million grant from The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. The gift, the largest individual donation ever received by CHNK, supports the $5.2 million renovation of the Home’s historic administration building.

The building, comprised of four floors, was constructed in 1925 to serve as an orphanage, complete with male and female dormitories, a nursery, staff living quarters, and various common areas. Most recently, it was used primarily for administrative offices, with very little space being utilized to its fullest potential. The renovation project addressed all four floors; the rooms of the 33,500 square foot facility have all been reconfigured and transformed into state of the art treatment spaces for youth with behavioral health needs.

Not only has The Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation been a long-time community partner for CHNK, but its namesakes were intimately involved with the Home for years prior to the establishment of the foundation. Ralph served as a member of CHNK’s Board of Trustees in the 1980s, and later, as a member of the agency’s Ambassadors Council.

“We actually have copies of handwritten notes from Mr. Haile, actively seeking funds from his connections in the community for the youth in our Home’s care,” shares Rick Wurth, chief executive officer of CHNK. “It’s so touching that Chris Bochenek, who is now one of the standard-bearers for the Hailes’ foundation, is just as intimately involved in the day-to-day operations of the Home and the lives of the youth we serve.”

As a token of appreciation for the significant grant award, CHNK will name its fourth floor in memory of Carol Ann’s father, Clifford Homan. The space – which was originally used as a nursery and later, for storage – has been transformed into a meeting and training center for CHNK’s team of over 100 professionals. It also now serves as an event space, providing CHNK with social venture opportunities. Additionally, it provides adequate space for activities in which all the youth in residential treatment participate, such as holiday parties, therapeutic recreation sessions, and educational enrichment.

“Ralph and Carol Ann were dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for residents in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky,” explains Chris Bochenek, Vice President and Senior Program Manager with The Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation. “It’s evident that Rick and his team at CHNK share that same dedication, with particular regard to this next generation of community leaders who are walking through the doors of the Home.”

In addition to the third floor meeting and training center, the second floor provides administrative offices and physical space for services such as telehealth and telepsychiatry, as well as supervised visitation. Video conference rooms will enable clients to connect with family members throughout the state and will lower travel costs for the agency.

The lower level and first floor of the administration building now accommodate a Therapeutic Day School that marries traditional academic services with behavioral health services for high-risk student populations. Operated by CHNK in partnership with Covington Independent Public Schools (CIPS), the space includes eight classrooms, multiple academic and treatment offices, a computer lab, a media room/library, and a student learning kitchen. CIPS leases the space from CHNK, providing a new revenue stream for the Home. In June, the therapeutic day school will receive statewide recognition as a model for alternative programs across the Commonwealth. 

“Education was so important to Carol Ann and Ralph, and specifically, outreach opportunities for underserved students,” comments Wurth. “We’re honored – and I think they would be too – that their legacy of giving back will help us to build more bridges to hope and opportunity for at-risk youth.”

Founded in 1882, Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky operates three campuses – one in Burlington, KY and two in Covington, KY. CHNK carries out its mission to be a community leader providing children and families with opportunity and hope for better lives by taking a family-centered, holistic approach to behavioral health and substance use treatment services for abused, neglected, and at-risk youth. Last year, the Home impacted over 700 youth and families in 36 counties across the Commonwealth. CHNK is a member of the Children’s Alliance, Kentucky’s voice for at-risk children and families.

The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation is an independent family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for residents in the region. The foundation concentrates its efforts and resources in areas about which Carol and Ralph were most passionate: Arts and Culture, Community Development, Education, and Human Services. In collaboration with the region’s stakeholders, the foundation helps lead the way to a strong and vibrant community across ten counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.