Friends of Warm Hearth is a nation-wide movement in Armenia that provides forever homes for people with special needs.
We are committed to providing homes to abandoned Armenians with special needs who have outgrown the orphanages.
Friends of Warm Hearth's commitment to forever homes is an organic project centered around our residents.
Friends of Warm Hearth remains steadfast in its dedication to promoting independence, accessibility and equal opportunities to individuals with disabilities.
Scroll down to read about how this idea has taken root in the world.
In 2006, we opened the first long-term group home in 3rd Village, Armenia to eight residents. Our first group of residents were on the brink of being sent to psychiatric institutions only because there was no other means of support.
In 2008 and 2009, we welcomed a second group of residents with the same needs, who had outgrown the orphanages.
In 2012 we added a "garden house" on our property that could serve as a living space for residents with greater needs. We brought two additional residents home, who had been living in psychiatric institutions for two to five years.
In 2018 we opened a second home in the village of Arinj to eight new residents and in early 2020, we opened a home in Geghanist.
Since 2005, additional Friends of Warm Hearth donors have invested $2+ million into a group home movement in Armenia. These dollars were reentrusted to Friends of Warm Hearth and transferred to Armenia based on the core values of honesty, accountability, and transparency. Currently all donations are paused due to violtions of the Rules and Regulations of the current tenants.
In 2023, Friends of Warm Hearth, through collaborative efforts with local authorities, legal advisors, and community stakeholders, initiated action to restart their activities, ensuring its continued use for the intended purpose.
Copyright: Chris Kitahara
Where We're Headed
As we look forward, our commitment to the residents remains the same today as it was when we began. We want to provide our residents with high quality and loving care in a forever home. They are the reason for Friends of Warm Hearth.
Our focus and energy is on a sustainable model that can be replicated even further in Armenia so that more individuals like our residents can be served outside of institutional settings. The model we strive for utilizes Armenian government support, private, local and international donations, self-generated income projects and public funds.
Individuals with special needs are oftentimes still institutionalized, and stigmatized as dangerous, inhuman, and shameful. But the solution we have created in our group homes is working. It breaks into what is otherwise a closed system.
Friends of Warm Hearth interrupts the negative interlocking cycles of attitude and injustice by providing an inlet for hope and change on the individual, institutional and national level.
How You Can Help
We are grateful for the many of you who have walked with us since the beginning and for those of you who have joined us along the way. All of those involved in Friends of Warm Hearth have been ordinary people, joining their small hands, as it were, to create a welcoming place, a home, for our residents.
We are committed to continuing this work – together – and invite you to join us.
Checks should be made payable to Friends of Warm Hearth, Inc. and mailed to:
Friends of Warm Hearth
PO Box 606
Enterprise, OR 97828
Please include your full name and address so that we can send you a receipt and a note of thanks.
Holistic, integrated and forever homes for abandoned Armenians with special needs and mutually transforming relationships between resident, staff, neighbor and fellow citizen.
To provide our residents with individualized care in a group-home setting that mimics family life to the extent possible and that empowers our residents to live as independently and confidently as possible so that they are not forced to spend their lives in psychiatric institutions in Armenia and/or homeless.
- We will act in the best interests of our residents’ social, physical, mental, spiritual and vocational development. We will provide growth opportunities for people of all abilities.
- We believe in community integration that honors culture and tradition. Within this context, we will amplify the voices and gifts of people of all abilities.
- We will preserve and protect our residents’ dignity, choices, fulfillment, privacy and independence.
- We will create inclusive communities of friendship and mutuality where resident and staff members seek to break down any barriers between them.
- We will move toward being locally led and sustainable.
**All stories and photographs of the residents are shared with their joyful permission.**