305 8th Street is a 6500 sq. ft. home located in the heart of Huntsville, AL that was built in 1949 by the McDonald family. In 1962, the home was purchased and occupied by the Booker family. The Booker family leased rooms to NASA contractors. This home, with 11 bedrooms and 4 living rooms seemed ideal to meet the vision of Irene Smith. She purchased the home in 1979 for the purpose of serving mentally ill adults who had been living in the local missions. Her vision was short lived when she had an unexpected death, but her dream did not die.
Inez Bastin, Ms. Smith’s sister assumed responsibility in 1980 to carry out her sister’s vision. A few months later, Gordan Bastin joined his wife in the mission of Eighth Street Group Home. In 1982, two intellectually disabled adults were released from the Department of Human Resources after having been in foster care the majority of their lives. The Bastin’s decided, without hesitation, to accept these two individuals as members of their special family.
This decision to house two intellectually disabled with mentally ill residents caused Eighth Street Group Home to lose state subsidized funding. Out of adversity, a new vision was born to serve disabled adults with diverse needs, who all required special care and structured living, in a place where they could be a family. In 1992, the Bastin’s received not-for-profit, 501 (c ) (3) status and changed the name to Jehovah Jireh, Inc. meaning “The Lord Provides.”
Today, we continue to operate on faith and call ourselves 305 8th Street to honor the family that has called it home for more than 30 years.