About Us

Arbor Youth Services is the ONLY emergency shelter for unaccompanied children in Central Kentucky.

We provide shelter for children as young as birth and as old as 17. Arbor provides a safe, supportive and welcoming environment to children who may be homeless, abused, neglected or at risk of being victimized.

Our Mission

Arbor Youth Services provides safe alternatives for at-risk children, youth and their families through services and referrals that promote positive growth and development.
Our vision has always been enabling a community where all at-risk children and youth are strengthened and supported to regain ties with their family, their community and other encouraging adults.

We do that through our various services, including our MASH Emergency Shelter, Outreach Center, Rapid Rehousing program and working with Project Safe Place.

Our staff

Our dedicated staff is proud to serve the youth in our community and provide the best resources and services in Lexington to them.

Lori Clemons
Executive Director

Andrew Shayde
Development Director

Missy Pate
Volunteer Coordinator

Christie Primeaux Housing

William Jones
Shelter Coordinator

Hillary Welch
MASH Youth Advocate

Our board

Adrianne Strong, Chair – Dinsmore and Shohl, LLP. Suzanne Bays, Chair-elect – Meridian Wealth Management, LLC. Ali Johnson, Treasurer – Al Torstrick Insurance Agency, Inc. Jessica Dawahare, Secretary – Community Advocate. Adrian Wallace, former Chair – Bishop and Chase Foundation.  Ben Keller – UBS Financial Services. John Reynolds – Traditional Bank. Meg Phillips Thompson – Phillips & Phillips Attorneys. Stephanie Kelemen – Keller Williams Bluegrass Realty. Tim Wiseman – Stoll Keenon Ogden, PLLC.  Traci Felix – Rector Hayden Realtors. Chad Howard – Zipie. Cameron Sallee – Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC.

Our History

A legacy of service to our
community since 1976

it all started with a simple idea:

let’s Help Kids

The joint efforts of the Junior League of Lexington and the Orphan’s Society of Lexington, in partnership with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG), led to the September 1976 opening of a coed adolescent group home in a Fourth Street duplex in Lexington.  After 18 months of successful operation, primary funding responsibility for the Metro Group Home program was assumed by the LFUCG.

The M.A.S.H. (Metro Alternative Shelter House) Drop Inn began operation in August 1979 at a location on East Maxwell Street.  M.A.S.H. originally was developed as a companion to the Coleman House for receiving funds under an “Alternative to Detention” LEAA federal grant.  The Coleman House sheltered younger children, sibling groups, female dependent children, female status offenders, and certain female public offenders.

M.A.S.H. in turn provided shelter care for up to 30 days for male dependent teens, male status offenders, and certain male public offenders. LEAA grant money fully funded the program for three years, and then at a rate of 50% for one year.

Funding for Metro Group Homes, Inc. (including the group home and M.A.S.H.) subsequently was obtained from sources such as the federal Runaway Youth Act, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, the United Way of the Bluegrass, and various private donations/fundraising efforts.  With Runaway Youth Act funding, M.A.S.H. became a coed facility.  It was accessible 24/7 to youth who could seek shelter by walking in from the street, without the necessity of a custody order.  Per diem reimbursement was paid by the Department for Juvenile Justice and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

536 West Third Street Lexington, KY 40508    •    Phone: (859) 254-2501    •    safe@arborky.org