‘Dream On’ in Bartlett

Three girls from Youth Villages in Bartlett join rock legend and Aerosmith front-man Steven Tyler Monday in “dreaming on” about the renovations to Janie’s House, their future home. The girls pictured with Tyler are, from left, Silvia, 16; Jebrayia, 14; and Jenna, 15. Jebrayia took the microphone briefly to tell the story of her abuse and how much she’s looking forward to the most peaceful and safe home she has known, Janie’s House.Photos by Carolyn Bahm.

Rock legend and Aerosmith front-man Steven Tyler explained his dream of supporting young girls who have survived abuse or neglect when he visited Bartlett Monday. His charitable organization, Janie’s Fund, partnered with Youth Villages to renovate a structure on the campus that will accommodate up to 30 girls annually, offering access to 24-hour medical care and therapeutic support.

The Janie’s House Bartlett Campus location is 3,900 square feet with several day rooms, an outdoor living space overlooking a scenic lake, and inspirational murals and inspirational quotes chosen by Tyler throughout the building.

Tyler personally chose the quotes used throughout Janie’s House decorations. This quote is in one of the bedrooms at Janie’s House in Bartlett.

This is the second Janie’s House that Tyler and Janie’s Fund have opened. Tyler explained to the gathered crowd that he’s long had a desire to help with this issue, leading back to the 1980s when he was in a program for his personal recovery. There, he heard a story of a woman who had experienced incredibly painful and debilitating sexual abuse as a child and how those gruesome events put her on a path of suffering that eventually led to her abusing drugs to mask the pain.

The song “Janie’s Got a Gun,” released in 1989, told the story of a young girl who was abused by her father. (Click here for lyrics.) Over the 26 years since that song was released, Tyler says he has often thought about what could have been done to prevent that kind of abuse. In November 2015, Tyler made a dream come true with the creation of Janie’s Fund, in partnership with Youth Villages.

How to get involved

To help raise funds or to donate for future Janie’s Fund projects, visit support.youthvillages.org/campaign/janies-fund.

If you or someone you know may be experiencing abuse or neglect, please call the Childhelp® National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) or visit childhelp.org/hotline for help. Anyone can report suspected child abuse or neglect, and reporting can save a child’s life. For state-specific info, visit Childwelfare.gov. Your call can protect a child and get help for a family.