Coyote Hill: A Safe Place to be a Child


Coyote Hill has been a ministry partner of The Crossing since 2002: a one-time service project turned into a partnership that touches nearly every ministry within the church.

Upcoming Event:  DONATE NOW!
25th Birthday Celebration Open House

45333_10153719407350469_8105174155586155144_nLunch provided by Smokin’ Chicks BBQ

When: Sunday Sept 11, 2016 from 1-4pm
What: Open House

  • tours of all our homes
  • horseback rides
  • hayrides
  • games for kids
  • Special recognition for every former staff, child, or board member in attendance.
  • We encourage anyone that has had any connection to Coyote Hill to attend.
  • Plus it’s a wonderful way to get introduced to the ministry of Coyote Hill.

If you have ever thought about serving at Coyote Hill, or just wants to learn more, this 25th Birthday Celebration is the best way to do so.

431731_10150695573865469_1247572616_nCoyote Hill Contact:
Kari Hopkins: Development Director

Meeting Needs:
Coyote Hill serves our community’s most vulnerable children. Children come to live at Coyote Hill because they have been removed from an unsafe living environment. The majority are in our state foster care system. They are sibling groups who have been separated, or are great risk of being separated. In the past two years, over 80% of children at Coyote Hill have been sibling groups. The average age of a child is 10 years old, although Coyote Hill is licensed for ages 3-19.1240369_10152704003835469_8817033424977603494_nChallenges Kids Face:

  • Children at Coyote Hill have been victims of abuse or neglect.
  • The trauma they have experienced is often not a one time experience.
  • They have lived with parental drug abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, lack of food, or lack of running water or electricity.
  • One of their biggest struggles is healing from the wounds of their past to the point that they can dream of a successful future.
  • Another daily struggle is being away from their biological family. Despite terrible living conditions, that was their normal.
  • Life at Coyote Hill is a big adjustment. We have boundaries and activities they’ve never experienced.
  • What most families view as simple chores are often brand new to our children.
  • Many children are introduced to Jesus at Coyote Hill. Church, family devotionals, and youth groups are also brand new.
  • As a child settles in and starts to accept love from their Home Parents, there is a mix of emotions.
  • Children wrestle with whether they can trust their Home Parents and biological family at the same time.

12022569_10153518226080469_2251643195414301408_oServices/Ministry Provided by Coyote Hill:

Coyote Hill is really a hybrid of traditional foster homes and residential care. We have four family homes with full-time, live-in Home Parents. Our Parents’ mission is to minister to each child through a loving family environment. Home Parents provide the structure and stability they need. This gives our children their first glimpse into a Christian family. Our Program Director describes it best like this:

“When a child has suffered years of abuse and neglect, they are constantly on the edge of a cliff. Any small disturbance in their environment can cause them to ‘go off the cliff’ or lose control; even small things like being given a different color cup for dinner. Daily our Home Parents work to teach our children that they are safe and loved unconditionally by God. Slowly over time this allows them to take a step back. Many small steps back away from the edge is the goal.”

Each child is also involved in weekly counseling sessions with our Therapists. Often we start with helping a child identify that their normal was not safe. Showing children a new way of doing family enables them to give their own children in the future this kind of love and environment.

13310377_10154058706780469_5253807054876348479_nStruggles Coyote Hill Faces in Meeting Needs:

  • One of our biggest struggles to meet our children’s needs is time.
    • Everyone needs one-on-one time and with any large family it’s hard.
    • Volunteers and mentors help us fill the time gap.
    • When a child can get quality time with a mentor, it makes all the difference.
  • Another struggle is a growing demand for our ministry.
    • Daily, we are turning away children due to lack of space in our homes.
    • The number of children in foster care in Missouri is growing.
  • We plan to build another home soon, but with any ministry expansion comes an increase in expenses.
    • Annually it takes $100,000 per home just for the basic utilities, salaries, and home expenses.

Prayer Requests:

  1. We pray against the spiritual warfare that rages as our children battle against feelings of betrayal, unworthiness, and anger.
  2. We pray their hearts would be open to hear that God loves them and is with them wherever they are.
  3. We pray for our Home Parents that their hearts would continue to be renewed and open to receiving every child that comes through their door with grace and acceptance. That daily God would renew their energy and strength to continue this hard work.
  4. We pray for our community. That they would continue to invest their time and resources into our ministry.
  5. We pray they would approach our families with grace and trust in our stewardship of their gifts.

Coyote Hill Christian Children’s Home [a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization] was founded in 1991, by Larry and Cathy McDaniel, along with an active Board of Directors. Larry and Cathy’s experience in foster care led to a realization that there was a tremendous need for a professional home of love that was able to address the social and emotional issues, in addition to the physical ones of food, shelter, and clothing. Behind it all was their faith in Christ, and that foundational Christianity is still modeled and valued by Coyote Hill staff today.

In September of 1993 Cathy McDaniel was diagnosed with extensive cancer. When she became unable to continue to serve as a Home Parent, other Home Parents were hired on a full time basis. Cathy passed away on November 21, 1994. Larry McDaniel still serves as the Executive Director today.

Coyote Hill is located on 200 acres donated by Mark and Laurene Zimmer. In July of 1997, the first new home was completed. It was designed and built according to Missouri state licensing regulations. The 5300 sq. ft. facility was designed especially for working with children in need of A Safe Place to Be a Child. It is called Cathy’s Home.

In the fall of 1999, a second home was completed, named and dedicated in honor of Mark and Laurene and their family; The Zimmer Home.

A third home, known as The Hubbell Home, was completed in September of 2000. Built in honor and with the generous support of Ira and Gail Hubbell and their family.

The Wright Home was completed in April of 2011, and dedicated in honor of Forrest “Bud” and Marjorie Wright by their sons, Bentley and Hartley Wright.

Coyote Hill’s fifth home, The Atherton Home, was completed in 2014, and is named in honor of Bill and Tammy Atherton and their parents & family who have supported them.
When Bill and Tammy Atherton came on staff as home parents in the mid-1990’s, they served in Larry and Cathy McDaniel’s former family residence and listened to dreams about a new property containing homes designed and built specifically for a children’s home ministry. Meanwhile, they served 24/7— longer than any Home Parents in our history. As Larry McDaniel says, “They set the bar for all future Home Parents.”

Team Members who are also Members of The Crossing:

  • Kari Hopkins, Development Director since 2009
  • Caroline Curran, Volunteer & Event Coordinator since 2016. — former Crossing Kids Intern
  • There are also several past board members who are members of The Crossing


Photo Credit: Lori Kohl, photographer



One Comment

  1. Thank you for such a wonderful post about Coyote Hill and our upcoming 25th anniversary Open House.

    The Crossing is an enormous blessing to our ministry in many ways. We are genuinely thankful and appreciative of not only all The Crossing does for Coyote Hill, but for our community at large.

    Press on and finish well,


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