Community Gem: After surviving Katrina, Dayton nurse works to raise displaced boys

Rose Malone-Jones founded King’s Way Living and Learning Center in 2019.

DAYTON —After being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Rose Malone-Jones came to Dayton, and is working to raise young displaced boys into healthy, productive men.

Two years ago, she and her son founded King’s Way Living and Learning Center, a state certified Title IV-E group home that cares for displaced children until they can be reunited with their parents.

A certified advance practice nurse, Jones worked as nurse for 47 years prior to her retirement. Jones had worked as a nurse in New Orleans since the ‘70s, and said her “love for little kids came about from that time.”

“We’re fortunate in Dayton, Ohio to have Rose,” said Clennia Bond, who nominated Jones as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem. “Ever since she landed here, she has been a real contributor to our medical community.”

Created alongside her son LeGarrius Jones, King’s Way is a family business, and serves boys age 6-12 with a team of medical and mental health professionals who provide therapy, counseling, and other behavioral health services. The center had its grand opening in 2020.

“I was thrilled because I knew that Rose had the heart and wherewithal to make it happen and to make it happen well,” Bond said. “Those are special people who have a special heart to do that.”

King’s Way is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, one of the top accolades for such facilities in the nation, which sets forth over 3,000 standards for rehabilitation facilities.

“Our mission and heart is to mold them and make them understand what it is to live in society, to grow up with love and care, and to change that mindset so they can grow up, be productive and even have their own families,” Jones said.

King’s Way typically houses three to four boys in a year. The children stay between nine and 12 months before they return to their families or are adopted. The goal of the organization is ultimately to reunite children with their parents.

“They can grow up to be anything and do anything they want to do, they just need some help. If I can have just a little hand in that, that’s the goal,” Jones said.

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