The Arnette House

Photography by Ralph Demilio

A safe haven for troubled youth

ORGANIZATION NAME: Arnette House, Inc.


Cheri Pettitt, chief executive officer
Jason Kasten, chief financial officer
Mark Shearon, chief operating officer
Nick Benway, human resources officer
Shanda Hope, clinical supervisor


2310 NE 24th Street
Ocala, FL 34470

Mission Statement:
To provide safe and effective programs to strengthen youth and families.

What we do:Arnette House provides emergency shelter, long-term group homes and non-residential counseling.

The Emergency Shelter serves youth 10-17 years old who are runaways, homeless, experiencing parent/child conflicts and foster children who have no placement. We provide shelter, clothing, nutritious meals and snacks; classroom instruction; individual, group, and family counseling; educational groups, vocational educational programs and outdoor educational programs.

The long-term group homes serve youth 13-17 years old from the child welfare system. We provide a home for six boys and a home for six girls. The group homes are a home-like environment that focuses on physical and emotional wellbeing, where the youth can have friends over, go to friends’ homes and participate in extra-curricular activities in school and in the community. We instill basic life skills aimed at developing self-reliance. The youth in the group homes can stay with us for as long as the system allows, up to 18 years old and longer, depending on the circumstances.

Arnette House has master’s-level counselors who provide counseling one time per week for 12 weeks for youth 6-17 years old. Our counselors provide services in the child’s school or community in order to prevent transportation problems from interfering in their services. Our counselors focus on the strengths of the family unit, while providing knowledge and skills to improve life at home. Youth are referred by parents/guardians, teachers, guidance counselors, the disciplinary office, law enforcement officers, etc. Youth who are provided services in the Emergency Shelter will be referred to a non-residential counselor for follow-up counseling.

Arnette House also has a SNAP (Stop Now And Plan) Program, which is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral model that helps troubled children and their parents learn how to effectively manage their emotions and “keep problems small.” SNAP is a 13-week program for children 6-11 years old, their parents and their siblings. Families are provided with transportation if needed and dinner following group.


How you can give of your
time and treasure:

Arnette House relies heavily on contributions made by caring businesses, private individuals and annual fund-raising efforts.

In addition to monetary donations, we are happy to accept hygiene products, bedding, towels, recreation supplies appropriate for teenagers, tickets to recreational/entertainment events (or sponsors for such events), and school/art supplies.

We are always looking for mentors and tutors, as well as creative, enthusiastic individuals to do activities with our youth.   

Back to top button