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TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – For more than two decades, the Gardner-Simmons Home for Girls has provided a safe haven for young ladies in abusive situations.  But now, the organization has changed its service, to meet a growing need.

Staff members are preparing this room for a new arrival.

Soon, a young mother and her new baby will call this room home.    It’s part of the new mission at the Gardner Simmons Home for Girls and it’s called Providence House.

“We’re really seeking to provide a safe structured home for teenaged girls in crisis pregnancies.  Because teenage pregnangies is the number one reason why girls drop out of high school only a third of teenage mothers graduate high school an 80 percent of all teen moms wind up on welfare services,” said Shane Robbins, interim director of Providence House.

So the Providence House is the only non-therapeutic crisis pregnancy residential home in the state.   At this house, girls ages 12 to 21 have around the clock care from staffers who make sure residents eat healthy, and stay on track with their education. Residents also receive training and guidance to help them succeed after they leave the program.

“A  lot of these young ladies who decide to carry their baby to term to either place their child for adoption or parent their child, a lot of times they do not have a place to stay, a safe place to go and a lot of times they need a program that will help them deal with some issues and get to a standing where they will be a lot more successful,” Robbins said.

There is also a faith-based component at Providence House.

“The spiritual aspect and growth for allthese young ladies is important to us that’s why we are partnering with local churches and making sure the young ladies not only have an opportunty to go to church but to build some relationships with individuals in the church,” he said.

Right now there are two young ladies staying at Providence House and staffers expect that number to grow as word gets out about this unique service.   So they are looking for referrals, and looking for more volunteers and donors.  People who want to expectant mothers who have nowhere else to turn.

For more information call 662 844 4433  or go to www.gardnersimmons.org


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