Monarch's Way moves closer to opening

Shawn Hardy news@echo-pilot.com
Carissa Martin shows the future design for a library in the house in the Village of Kauffman which is being turned into Monarch's Way, a home for troubled girls. SHAWN HARDY/ECHO PILOT

Carissa Martin's 19-year dream of turning a large brick house in the Village of Kauffman into a residential Christian school for at-risk girls is moving closer to reality and many people are sharing her vision.

Closing on the house at 7465 Angle Road will be held soon and Monarch's Way is expected to open its doors with eight girls after Christmas.

"The community is really behind this ... they have a heart to help our girls," said Martin, founder and president of the nonprofit Monarch's Way, which will help girls who have faced such issues as eating disorders, self-harm, sexual abuse, sex trafficking, drug and alcohol addictions, depression or unplanned pregnancy.

Martin had $13,000 when she put an offer on the house in September 2018, the contract is for $310,000 and more than $200,000 has come in from the community.

"That's miracle stuff," Martin said.

The initial fundraising goal is $400,000, which will also cover a new HVAC system.

Martin has long had her eyes on the majestic 10,000-square-foot house built by Raymond Wishard that seems custom-made for a home and school.

The house has been vacant for years, but mainly needs cosmetic work inside and many people have come forward to help.

"We have a community of servant's hearts," Martin said.

The first floor features a kitchen that will be enlarged for learning space, a living room, a bedroom with bath for the houseparents who will live on-site, office space, laundry room and counseling area.

Martin's eyes light up when she talks about how the breezeway will be set up with long farmhouse tables for family dining.

Off the breezeway is the garage that will be transformed into a chapel and gathering space, with new frosted glass garage doors that can be raised to create a larger indoor-outdoor area.

An apartment over the garage can be used by staffers.

The second floor features a series of bedrooms as well as two narrow rooms that will be turned into libraries and sitting areas.

The attic and basement could be renovated into usable space in the future.

A landscape plan that may take years shows a healing garden, kitchen garden, microclimate, gathering spaces and the Meadows at Monarch's Way — a sanctuary for butterflies and pollinators.

The house and yard will provide the backdrop as Monarch's Way reaches out to troubled girls to "help them take steps toward wholeness, healing and transformation." Its core components are:

  • Academic Achievement: Small classes and individual attention to develop a love of learning.
  • Core Culture Disciplines: Life skills including, but not limited to, responsibility, etiquette, character, finances, health, fitness, giving back, missions and recreation.
  • Counseling and Coaching: Counseling model "Choices That Bring Change" combines biblical principles of healing and unconditional love with clinical interventions.
  • Family Environment: Houseparents, a married couple, live in the home and model healthy family relationships while incorporating Christian virtues in all aspects of daily living.

Monarch's Way is a 501c3 tax-deductible organization. More information can be found on Facebook, YouTube (The Unfolding Story of Monarch's Way) or the website:


Martin is available to talk to groups about Monarch's Way and she can be reached at 717-372-3313.