In 1970, when Kathy McElvain was employed by the Richland County Board of DD she had an in-service day, and chose to visit a state institution. We don’t want to identify where she went, but we can tell you that the conditions there were very deplorable. There were 80 residents in award, sleeping on cots placed about 2 feet apart, end-to-end. When she visited, it was a very cold winter and the windows were completely broken out.
Looking around the ward, she noticed the lack of dressers, toys, and personal items. It appeared that none of the residents had access to personal items.
We toured the institution including a day room in which residents spent their days. The room had hundreds of residents, many completely naked, with several sitting in their own excrement. The residents sat rocking to entertain themselves, and pass the time. Even today, when we see residents who have been institutionalized rocking, it brings back vivid memories of that first trip to that institution.
We were taken to a room that kept clothing for all the residents. It was explained that employees went to this room daily to select the clothes for the residents to wear that day. It was overwhelming at how impersonal it was.
We left the institution that day knowing in our hearts that we would make a change for developmentally disadvantaged people! We didn't know how, but the idea was ingrained in our very souls. As more in-service days came about, we used every opportunity to tour more state institutions. We were desperate to know if they were all appalling. Sadly, each one was as inhumane as the first.
So, we started McElvain Homes to make a difference for all of those in need!
Our Owner and Founder
Kathy has a BSBA in Accounting from Ashland University. She has been caring for people that are developmentally disabled for over thirty years and has even gone to court to fight for their rights. Kathy wants each resident to feel like they are “home,” and all their treatment is person-centered. McElvain Homes strives to continue to grow with the highest quality care and prides themselves on providing a stimulating environment for all their residents.
Chief Financial Officer
Jamie is an Ohio native who has spent the last 20 years as a senior executive within the Health and Life Sciences Industry. Having grown up in a home with Developmentally Disabled (“DD”) adults, he has a true passion for providing support for the underserved in our society. He is fully committed to providing life-changing personalized care to the DD community and providing recreational activities to enrich the lives of those we serve.
Elizabeth Allen White was a former attorney-at-law for an investment company in Belize City, Belize practicing commercial law and then moved to North Carolina where she worked as a contract’s administrator/paralegal with State Employees’ Credit Union in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has now taken up the role as Finance Director with McElvain Homes where she will oversee the day-to-day financial operations of the company.
Elizabeth believes it is an honor and a privilege to work at McElvain Homes where the philosophy of being person centered is at the heart of the company’s culture. She believes that the people the company serves are the most important part of her job and why she feels the work she is doing gives great purpose.
Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of English Education from the University of Belize and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of West Indies. In her free time Elizabeth loves going to parks, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.
Director, Recreational Therapy
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
God spoke to a young snot-nosed boy named Matthew G. Trouten to prepare himself to serve and minister to others. As time went by, many trials, tribulations, and things that people should not go through created Matthew. Today Matthew is a simple man with a mighty God. Matthew received education in recreational therapy and elementary education from NCTC and OSU. Matthew loves the performing arts and has performed all over the United States, learning and the art of humor therapy. Matthew is passionate about missionary work and has served in Haiti, Cuba, Mexico, Israel, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Mansfield, Ohio, where he highly enjoys working with individuals with disabilities. It has been Matthew’s joy to work and grow with the McElvain family for 15 years.
Director, Community Outreach
Julia graduated from Madison Comprehensive High School in 1982. In 1996, she received her associates degree in Recreational Therapy. Julia started her career working with special needs individuals in 1984 at a day-hab in Brooklyn NY. After returning back to Mansfield, she worked at the Rain Tree facility prior to her college graduation. Julia had been working with other providers when she first met McElvain Homes. After this meeting, she knew she had found her calling and wanted to make a difference in this lives of those we serve. Julia has been with McElvain Homes for over 15 years. Julia now leads our Community Outreach program and is always looking for opportunities to engage the wider community in the exciting things McElvain Homes has to offer.
Tara is a 2007 graduate of North Central State College where she earned her associate degree in human services. She has spent nearly 20 years working with adults and children with developmental disabilities. In recent years she served as a Support Specialist for Richland Newhope Industries where she was able to build and maintain positive relationships with individuals, staff, and community partners, which included advocating and implementing supports for her individuals. She is extremely passionate for those that have developmental disabilities and works diligently to ensure that all individuals are supported appropriately and have the access to needed services.