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Who We Are
- The Team
- Our Heritage
Making Lives Whole Through Healing and Restoration.
Serving individual children and sibling groups, Palmer Home for Children provides a family and community to children in need regardless of race, gender or background.
Palmer Home provides superior residential care for children while introducing the love of God through our service to each individual child.
We have campuses in Columbus and Hernando, Mississippi.
Located on 110 acres near downtown Columbus, this campus was established in 1895 and features a gym, swimming pool, twelve greenhouses, horse barn, seven cottages and two administrative buildings.
Some children living on the Columbus campus attend the Palmer School, where their individual educational needs are met in a personalized teaching environment.
After school, children are involved in a number of activities including a therapeutic horticulture program at the Hope Grows greenhouses, therapeutic horseback riding (Hope Reins Equestrian Program , basketball, community and church activities, athletics, and most importantly safe, community-oriented play with other children on campus.
The Palmer Home for Children Hernando campus opened its doors just south of Memphis in 2003 with three cottages, two staff residences, an outdoor pavilion an administrative office and the beautiful Hope Chapel, all nested along the banks of a 72-acre lake.
The Hernando Campus is in the process of expanding its capabilities with the addition of 4 new cottages and a multi-purpose wellness center.
Whole Child Initiative
The Whole Child Initiative is the comprehensive approach to caring for children that recognizes and addresses the multi-dimensional aspects of a child’s life, physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual.
Children often enter a Whole Child program with a significant lack of medical care, proper nutrition, and physical exercise. The Whole Child goal is to enhance a child's physical functioning by providing appropriate medical care, healthy nutritional options and exercise through extracurricular activities and safe spaces to play.
A child entering Whole Child Initiative care often has no sense of safety or security. Past traumatic experience can cause an inability to attach to a caregiver. Caregivers address a child's emotional past and encourage them to trust others, share fears and concerns, engage in healthy play, and receive love.
Children entering Whole Child care rarely have consistent educational backgrounds and often learning disabilities. A whole child must be regularly assessed for mental development and adequate educational progress. A community of caregivers, teachers and tutors must continually monitor individual children.
The Whole Child goal is to expose children to the Gospel, to the scriptures, and to God's people through words and actions, with the purpose of creating fertile soil for God's work in their lives. Spiritual care is the cornerstone because of the biblical mandates to care for orphans and rear children in the nurture and care of the Lord.
Caregivers give these children hope through showing love.
Palmer Home caregivers care for wounded and broken children by sharing the healing power of Jesus and providing physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual care.
Meet the president.
Drake Bassett, President and CEO of Palmer Home for Children, joined our family in 2012. For more than 20 years, he has worked with organizations to improve performance and achieve goals. In addition to his experience as CEO, he has held leadership roles as Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Human Resources as Nielsen Corporation. Drake thrives on building great relationships with staff, community, and clients. In his time at Palmer Home, he has launched a number of innovative programs, and is constantly evaluating how we can better Rescue and Restore the lives of vulnerable children on our campuses and beyond. Drake has been married to his wife, Kelley, for 29 years. They have four children and three grandchildren.
Our team is focused.
We hope to be the hands and feet of God’s compassion, doing justice for those whom God loves and who cannot help themselves.
Robert joined the Palmer Home team in 1998. During this time, he spearheaded the development of Palmer Home’s first expansion campus located in Hernando, MS and served as its Executive Director for 7 years. Mr. Farris has served in various roles during his tenure at Palmer Home. Most recently he has overseen the acquisition of Jonah’s Journey and has had responsibility for overseeing all residential programs. Currently, he leads a new Rescue initiative to further expand awareness of Palmer Home’s restoration programs and the development of a sex trafficking initiative.
A native Mississippian, Robert is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and holds two master degrees from Reformed Theological Seminary. He and his wife Ginger have been married for 32 years and have three children and six grandchildren.
Bio Coming Soon
Carol has been with Palmer Home since 1994 and oversees all financial and business affairs. Her tenure and experience brings continuity and insight to the Executive Team and the President.
Carol is a graduate of Mississippi University for Women and is a Certified Public Accountant with over 30 years of experience. She and her husband, Johnny, have two daughters and are members of Fairview Baptist Church.
Our board is passionate.
The board at Palmer Home for Children is focused on the mission to rescue and restore these children.
See our beginning.
Scroll through the rich history of Palmer Home
William States Jacobs, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Columbus, was an ardent admirer of Rev. Benjamin Morgan Palmer of New Orleans. The son of the founder of South Carolina’s Thornwell Orphanage, Jacobs arrived in Columbus fresh out of seminary and soon challenged his congregation to start its own orphanage and to name it after Dr. Palmer. The women of First Presbyterian Church became the driving force behind the new orphanage, which was officially chartered by the State of Mississippi on March 13, 1895 and located on the south side of Columbus, MS.
Fifteen acres purchased outside Columbus.
In 1898, B.F. Bedinger assumed the position of superintendent, Lindamood building was erected, and the first Palmer Home child was admitted.
Hiram Edward McClure becomes second superintendent.
Christian Endeavor and Big Boys’ buildings are built.
Reverend William Frierson becomes third superintendent; wife, Florence, becomes head matron.
Superintendent’s Home is built, and laundry room is added.
Fifteen Palmer Home men serve in World War I.
John Frierson becomes fourth superintendent of Palmer Home for Children.
Evelyn McPhail arrives at Palmer Home at the age of four with her two siblings.
Fifty-four Palmer Home men serve in World War II.
John Frierson retires as Palmer superintendent. William Sistar comes as fifth superintendent.
J.O. Davis named interim superintendent.
Hazard Cottage and Hutchinson Cottage dedicated.
Swoope Cottage dedicated.
Palmer’s Christine McClamroch wins Miss Mississippi and takes third runner-up in Atlantic City at the Miss America competition.
Frank P. Phillips Cottage and William J. Love Cottage dedicated.
Joe Mitchell made executive director.
Palmer votes to become independent of direct church control.
Buchanan Cottage finished.
Taylor McGown comes as executive director.
Taylor McGown departs.
Ed Waldron becomes ninth leader of Palmer Home as Executive Director.
Property purchased for Hernando campus.
Evelyn McPhail Co-chaired the Republican National Committee with Haley Barbour.
Palmer Home for Children celebrates 100 years of service.
Greenhouses open on the Columbus campus to grow and sell poinsettias.
Brotherhood Cottage built (on Columbus campus)
Plans for Hernando campus solidified
Cooke Miller, IPC, and Reeves Cottages completed on Hernando campus.
Hope Chapel and Grace Home (Director’s Home) completed in Hernando.
Mississippi Sherriff’s Boys and Girls Ranch joins forces with Palmer Home
Lighthouse, built by the Langleys, became our office.
Ed Waldron retires; Charlie Guest named interim director.
Drake Bassett becomes 10th leader as President and CEO
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