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Parents and teens talk openly about the benefits of The Joshua House to Tyrone

Since Joshua House opened its doors it has been a place for the youth and young adults of Tyrone to gather together for fellowship.
Director of activities Jim Kilmartin said that he, “wanted to create Joshua House as a safe haven or a refuge for kids to get away from the things of the world and be safe.”
Numerous parents and teens feel the same way about the purpose of Joshua House. On average 30-40 kids visit a day, and Kilmartin has organized different activities for everyone to take part. Currently, he is planning the annual three-on-three basketball tournament that Joshua House is scheduled to sponsor for members of the community on July 19.
Robin Church is a parent who said there are many reasons why she allows her seventh grade daughter Crystal to visit Joshua House regularly.
“It gives the kids something to do in the evenings, a place to meet their friends, and just knowing that the Kilmartins are such positive role models,” said Church. “I just think Jim’s a really good role model for the kids because he can get down on their level. He gets along so well with the kids.”
Besides being the director of Joshua House, Kilmartin is a pastor for the Antioch International Church in State College. Kilmartin’s wife Jessica also plays an active role in facilitating activities at Joshua House, especially ones for many of the girls who attend meetings and other gatherings.
Patty Eirich also agrees that the Kilmartins are positive role models for her son, John, a tenth grade student at Tyrone.
“Jim is a very nice person, and his wife has a nice personality. Jim is always willing to help, and he’s just like a big brother to all the kids,” she said.
Eirich also explained that her son has changed for the better since going to the Joshua House. His grades have improved, and he is an honor student now. He is also more social and outgoing.
“I know it’s a good environment. They have prayer and Bible reading there, and that’s going on and nothing else. I’d like to see my boy going down there instead of on the streets smoking cigarettes and stuff,” said Eirich.
Her son, John said that he visits Joshua House at least a couple of times a week. He plays ping pong, chess and video games there.
“Before I was depressed and getting bad grades on tests and homework,” said John. “We had Bible study, and it changed my life. Jim always encourages me and never puts me down.”
Seventh grade student at Tyrone, Amanda Grassmyer visits Joshua House as often as she can to see her friends and to play board games.
She said, “It gives me something to do other than hang out around town on the streets.”
Seventh grade student Amber Stonebraker also visits Joshua House as often as she can.
“I get on the computer to do reports and homework, and Thursdays are may favorite because of Bible study,” said Stonebraker. “I think it’s great that Jim is giving us a safe haven from all the bad stuff in Tyrone.”
Joshua House is a non-profit organization funded by individual, church and business donations. Also, new volunteers are always welcome because Kilmartin would like to expand the hours of operation. The hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3-6 p.m.; Thursday, bible study from 6-9 p.m., and one Friday night a month is movies and games night.
The mailing address is P.O. Box 27, Tyrone; the email address is Joshuahouse1@hotmail.com, and the phone number is 684-2032. Anyone interested in being on the mailing list for the Joshua House newsletter should email Kilmartin.
“One of the greatest joys is seeing lives change from where they were before to where they are now,” said Kilmartin. “The kids are welcome here and accepted for who they are.”
An upcoming event is the next Thrive meeting which is scheduled at the Joshua House for April 26 at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.