Kendra’s House provides an independent living environment for at-risk youth that is dedicated to empowering youths in the recognition of their inner strengths and abilities in order to transition them into confident, independent, and productive adults.
Kendra’s House is a non-profit 501c3 residential group home on 24 acres for girls 13-18 in Castalia, Ohio. These are girls that their parents lost custody of them due to either addiction, abuse and/or neglect. Due to the storage in foster care, Kendra’s House was created to fulfill this need. Kendra’s House is to provide an independent living environment that is dedicated to empowering youth in the recognition of their inner strengths and abilities in order to transition them into confident, independent, productive adults and productive citizens in our community.
Kendra’s House will provide a 24-hour supervised home with managed therapeutic programs to help these girls work through any mental health issues they might have from the environment they have been raised in. They will be provided individual, group and family counseling along with coping and life skills. Equine assisted psychotherapy,yoga, meditation, physical training, nature walks and outdoor activities will be used to help the girls with their healing process.
We believe that everyone that comes to Kendra’s House has the ability and desire (however it may be masked) to change and grow when given an environment that is supportive, safe and challenging. Kendra’s House knows how important the role of a caregiver plays in a youth’s healing. Our staff utilizes respectful, supportive, and compassionate relationships and strength based approaches to therapy, rather than punitive or coercive techniques to help youth explore directions and find self-empowerment.
We believe in the healing power of nature. Nature provides challenge, refuge, and a break from the hectic, technology filled world our youth face today. The Outside world offers ample opportunity for powerful and direct feedback of both positive and negative behaviors. Nature provides a quiet that forces us to face what we would rather ignore, gives us the time to reflect, and allows us to connect with ourselves and others.
Meet our Team
Kendra Didion, MSSA, LISW-S, LICDC-S
Founder & Executive Director
Founder & Executive Director Kendra’s House Inc. Kendra S. Didion has been providing both mental health and chemical dependency counseling for over 20 plus years. She graduated from Case Western Reserve (Mandel School) in 1997 and has a Masters in Social Work. Kendra holds an LISW-S and LICDC-S certifications.
She received her certification in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) from EAGALA in 2003. Kendra started her own private practice, Healing Trails, LLC in 2002 and has been treating children, teenagers and adults with a variety of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency issues.
She specializes in using horses to help individuals, groups and families with trauma, abuse, eating disorders, ADD, PTSD, Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD), and couples/marriage counseling. Kendra has been helping and empowering at-risk youth for over 20 yrs. She was an at-risk youth, but overcame the struggles and succeeded. Kendra’s passion for helping this population comes from personal experiences. She brings a world of knowledge to her practice, but above all, she cherishes the compassion and empathy needed to empower people in needs throughout difficult times. Giving back to the community is not a gift, it is her mission.
Kendra’s House Board of Trustee
Board Member Kimberly Krzemienieswki, MSSA, LSW, graduated from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences in May 2016.
After completing her Bachelor’s in Neuroscience and Psychology in 2012 at Baldwin Wallace, she worked in the medical field for two years before realizing her true passion is social work. Although she has experience with trauma, healthcare, grief counseling, her true passion is family, groups, and relational work. She is certified in Functional Family Therapy and currently practicing full time.
In her free time, Kim enjoys traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with two rescued mutts. Kim has been involved with Kendra’s House policy writing and board meetings, and looks forward to watching Kendra’s House grow within the community.
Laura M. Foreman
Board member Laura m. Foreman is a Special Education/ Intervention specialist at the School of Hope in Fremont, Ohio. Laura is a graduate of the University of Toledo, where she received a Bachelor’s in Education Multi-handicap. After graduation, Laura started her teaching career at Toledo public schools.
That eventually led to a field of helping families and providing care as an option waiver provider for the state of Ohio. Laura continued to expand into working for Lucas County Board of DD as a teacher and rehabilitation specialist in the adult service programs for Lott industries. It was then that Laura continued her journey working with people as a QMRP at Luther home of mercy. She spent 6 years training staff, writing plans, conducting meetings and advocating for the residence at this residential facility.
Laura has experienced all areas of working with different abilities at different times in their lives. In her 25 years in the field of education, adult job training and residential services. Laura is grateful for the people and the opportunities that have molded her into the person she is today
Board Member Phyllis Wright grew up in Sandusky, Ohio and have been happily married to Charles for 56 years. Phyllis spent her working career in a variety of challenging positions. Early on she worked as a teacher for young children who were 4 – 5 years of age providing them with learning skills to be successful throughout their schooling. Throughout her years, Mrs. Phyllis has work for several large corporation and has been instrumental in the success and development.
Since retirement her compassion for people drew her to volunteer at Victory Kitchen and Stein Hospice where she holds a special skill of being able to put herself into the shoes of others assisting them during difficult life situations. Mrs. Phyllis incorporates her experiences and skills along with her desire to help young girls evolve into successful women.
Her role model and mentoring supports them as they become well-equipped in order to reach their goals of achieving meaningful lives and contributing to their respective communities.
Meet our Volunteers
Rev. Kathleen Suggit
Board Member Kathleen (Katie) Suggitt has been a resident of Castalia, Ohio since summer of 2006. She has been active in the community and is very passionate about empowering young women to make wise choices and achieve their fullest potential by helping them to develop a healthy self-image.
She is very excited about serving on the Board of Directors for Kendra’s House. She is a founding member of a local group of women focused on promoting the development of strong young women called “The Zoe Project.” (Zoe is the Greek word for life.)
She currently serves as the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Castalia Prior to coming to Castalia, Katie lived in Jackson, Michigan. Her previous vocational experience involved working as an accountant and a research engineer in a manufacturing environment for eight and nine years, respectively.
Santiago Mateo is a proud volunteer at the Kendra’s House Inc. Mr. Mateo has a Master of Science in Information Technology Management and a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice Administration. Mr. Mateo provide technological assistance with web design as well as any IT related issues.