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Shelby County now has a place where family members who can only visit in a supervised setting can share quality time together in a personal atmosphere.
The Butterfly House, owned by Beth Kimbrough-Summers and Beverly Hilger, is located on Washington Street across from Wakefield-Scearce Gallery in the parking lot of the old courthouse.
Shelby District Judge Linda Armstrong said the facility is a very welcome addition to the community.
“There is a real need for this type of thing, it’s something we have needed for a long time here because there are so few places like it around the state,” she said.
Hilger said there are many reasons why parents are required to have their visits supervised.
“It can be anything from issues with drugs, abuse or neglect, that type of thing,” she said. “We have had people from all walks of life.”
Although both Kimbrough-Summers and Hilger will still go to homes to supervise visits, the Butterfly House offers the opportunity for parents and children to use one of the two “kid-friendly” visitation rooms with comfortable sofas and a homey atmosphere. There is also a toddler room in the works.
Kimbrough-Summers said that already they have been well received by the community.
“We have had some really positive feedback,” she said. “We recently had a family come in and the little boy asked his dad if they would be spending the night here. We felt really good about that, that he felt comfortable enough here for that. Shelbyville has really opened its arms to us and we want to thank everyone who has helped us and especially the attorneys who have donated this space to us.”
The first business of its kind in Shelby County, the Butterfly House joins others facilities located in Jefferson, Fayette, Franklin, Bullitt, Clark and Kenton counties.
Kimbrough-Summers has a background in social work and child development and Hilger runs the CASA program in Shelby County.
The nonprofit facility has been open since January and the two women are operating the Butterfly House on a limited budget in a donated space. They have a flexible schedule and offer a sliding scale for their fee.
They say they hope to someday find a larger location, preferably a house with a yard to hold some playground equipment, and they expect to be offering parenting classes by mid-summer.
Donations would are welcome, and can be mailed to 18 Village Plaza, PMB 335, Shelbyville 40065. For more information, call 502-321-9480.