Unlike its winding driveway, the Brantwood Children’s Home mission has been straightforward for 100 years, offering children a home who otherwise might not have one.
Antavione Ferguson is a testament of how Brantwood redirected his life when he was just 15 years old.
“They were trying to make my place of living just as normal as any other child in the regular world,” Ferguson said.
Brantwood serves as a haven where children as young as 10 find stability from chaos. Those who come here are often neglected and abused. The ideal situation is for them to stay here long enough to get grounded with the hope their home life improves. Sometimes that doesn’t work right away, and so they remain here until they’re 21.
“We love them, support them and try to take care of them as long as they need some help,” said Brantwood Children’s Home Board President Archie Grubb.
Brantwood is the only one of its kind in Montgomery, funded from the Alabama Department of Human Resources, fundraisers and the United Way.
Montgomery attorney Tom Methvin has been a mentor to Cornelius Ford for 12 years. Ford is 26 and doing well.
“A father figure to him, be able to talk to him and give him advice,” Methvin said.
Brantwood is filled to capacity with 30 kids, but officials here say that doesn’t even begin to reach everyone who find themselves in a troubling situation at home. The number is dictated by space and the contract with DHR.
“What grade are you in now?” a question Ferguson posed to some of the teens staying at Brantwood now.
Ferguson shudders at what his life might be like today. He is now Sgt. Antavione Ferguson with the Montgomery Police Department.
“They did a lot for me,” Ferguson said looking back.
The home is also celebrating finding out it was selected by the Alabama Historical Commission as a historical landmark. The commission made the decision based on Brantwood’s age and the significance of what the home has done. Brantwood officials say they will look for funds to erect a historical marker out front.
They hope to do the same thing for the next 100 years.
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