Coyote Hill opens seventh foster home to celebrate 30th anniversary
Since 1991, Coyote Hill Foster Care Neighborhood has helped more than 700 children in Missouri’s foster care system.
Larry and Cathy McDaniel started the organization as Coyote Hill Christian Children’s Home soon after they became first-time foster parents.
“It started as one set of foster parents in one home with one kid, and we went from there,” said CEO Larry McDaniel, who has his master’s degree in social work and is a licensed clinical social worker.
Cathy McDaniel died in 1994 from cancer, but her husband has continued the initiative.
The purpose for Coyote Hill’s creation was to create a safe space for foster children.
The organization on Saturday marked its 30-year celebration and the official opening of its seventh foster home on its 300-acre campus in rural Boone County in Harrisburg. The property was donated by Mark and Laurene Zimmer in October 1995.
“To know what has been accomplished is very inspiring and makes you thankful to know you were a part of it,” Larry McDaniel said. “We really cared about giving kids from hard places a safe place to be a child. That is our motto. That is what we live by.”
The first home on the acreage was named in honor of Cathy McDaniel in 1997. More houses followed, including one named for the Zimmers. The most recent home is named for Jerry and Maggie Ubl, who have supported the ministry for the past 14 years and wanted to leave a legacy, said Kari Hopkins, Coyote Hill chief development officer.
Construction on the newest home was finished in August 2020.
As the years went on, more people joined the ministry, including those who served as home parents at the Harrisburg site.
The ministry has greatly expanded, with a foster home opening in Jefferson City, an office in Columbia, and another office in Moberly with its Faith Bridge ministry.
The Coyote Hill ministry has three service areas: foster care licensing and support services, its foster care community in Harrisburg and its therapeutic equine program for veterans and children in foster care. Coyote Hill’s equine program started in 2005, with an on-site arena and horse barn opening in 2011.
“This summer — when kids were out of school — five days a week we had (the arena) full of foster kids all day long,” Larry McDaniel said. “On the weekends, we have a riding program for combat vets.”
There are a variety of riding trails and an outdoor arena, as well.
Coyote Hill in January 2020 launched its Foster Care Services program, supporting foster parents throughout Boone County and the mid-Missouri region.
“There are 124 children we are serving out in communities,” McDaniel said.
The 30-year anniversary is a testament to the continued outpouring of community support, Hopkins said.
“Coyote Hill is 100% supported by our community. We do not do this alone,” she said, adding about 35 foster children are served on-site in Harrisburg.
Each of the foster homes at Coyote Hill serve about six to seven children with live-in foster parents.