Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (PCHAS) in Farmington recently held an open house/ribbon cutting for its new “quadplex” which is now part of the single parent program which opened last month.
Not to be confused with a homeless shelter, the program provides struggling single parents and their children with housing, financial and emotional support, therapy, and services that promote self-reliance. In addition, the program helps parents who are looking for appropriate childcare and preschool services.
While the cottages were once used to house children, the units have been converted to provide housing for four single-parent families from St. Francis and surrounding counties. They all have a fully equipped kitchen, a living area and a bedroom. February marked the first time PCHAS was willing to move families into the quadplex.
“When they come in, everything is furnished – the bedding – everything,” said PCHAS Southeast regional director Caren Mell. “They take the bedding with them, but not the furniture, of course. We’ll do the grocery shopping, so when they come in, they won’t have to worry about going out and gathering all the food. We’ll have supplies in the refrigerator and cupboards for them, so they can just walk in and have a meal waiting for them.
People also read…
In addition to the quadplex, PCHAS also has Black Knight apartments for single parents on the first floor. On the second floor, there are transitional apartments for young adults aged 18-25 who do not have children.
“They’re trying to go through this transition from being a youngster — all given to them — to where they have responsibilities,” Mell said. “Instead of just being dumped there, we help them find jobs because they need to be employed.
“We have a savings program, so when they get their jobs, they will contribute a certain amount of money. Then, when they’re ready to go — to graduate from that program — all those savings come back to them. We have a single mom who left here with several thousand dollars saved up, so she’s doing great. She’s spoken at some of our lunches — she’s doing fantastically. She has a job and has learned a lot about budgeting, things like that.
As part of its residential care programs, PCHAS also offers a Level 3 residential program that provides 24-hour supervision and helps young adults ages 15-21 grow into independent adults with sustainable plans for life. to come up.
PCHAS of Missouri has its roots in 1914 in Farmington where Presbyterian pastors and elders founded an orphanage for children whose parents died in mining accidents. The Farmington Children’s Home has expanded to include many homes and a working farm. Over the years, additional programs have been added to help children, young adults and foster families.
Robert Giegling, vice president of programs for PCHAS, was also on hand to celebrate the new accommodations and greet those who came out for the open house and ribbon cutting. He was very impressed with what he saw.
“It’s very exciting,” he said. “Before, it was a residence. The remodeling of this is beautiful, and the program is not just for new moms, but also for single dads with a few kids, struggling – not necessarily homeless, but they’re probably on the verge of it. So they come here, settle down and feel safe – and we will work with them with all the services mentioned by Caren to achieve self-sufficiency.
“When they leave here, they have a job, they have their own resources and they’re going to make it their goal to make it in the community on their own. We’ve been doing residential here for a long time, but we haven’t serving the community. We took kids from all over the state. Most of the kids usually came from St. Louis for residential placement and they left.
“When we made the decision to stop doing residential and start serving the community, now a range of services – five or six different services – all serve the Farmington community. I think it is important. We talked for years, like, ‘Well, you know, we operate in Farmington but we’re not very well known.’ It’s because the children came here, we served them and they left. Now we are embedded in the community — the school district and the other agencies we work with. We have truly become a community program and a community service.
The depth and breadth of ministry and outreach of the former Presbyterian Children’s Home in Farmington and the surrounding community began to change for the better when it began its transformation into PCHAS four years ago.
PCHAS is the result of two historic mergers of Presbyterian children’s agencies. The first merger involved two Texas children’s agencies, Presbyterian Children’s Homes (PCH) and Presbyterian Children’s Services (PCS). Presbyterian Children’s Homes was founded in 1903 when a young mother dying of tuberculosis, Leontine Hector Blaney, met the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Dallas and arranged for the care of her four children when he died. In response, the women of the church rented a house, hired a matron, and established an orphanage. In 1905 the ministry moved to Itasca, Texas. The campus still operates today as PCHAS’s Itasca Foster Care Village.
A few years later and not too far away, the Abilene Presbytery opened a separate home for orphans in 1916 called Reynolds Presbyterian Orphanage and School in Albany, Texas. This ministry moved to Dallas in 1923, then to Waxahachie in 1960. In 1998, its name was changed to Presbyterian Children’s Services (PCS). The Waxahachie campus is still in operation and serves foster families, traumatized families, struggling single parents, and youth who have aged out of foster care. In 2002, these two Texas children’s agencies merged to create the Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (PCHAS) of Texas and Louisiana.
The second merger occurred on January 1, 2018, when PCHAS of Texas and Louisiana merged with PCHAS of Missouri to operate as Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services. This year, Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services entered its 119th year of service. Its 14 programs in 28 service locations with approximately 325 employees serve approximately 4,500 children and families with Christ-centered care and support throughout Texas, Missouri and Louisiana.
Other programs offered by PCHAs include:
• Child and Family – This home-based family preservation program stabilizes families during a crisis such as poverty, abuse, neglect or homelessness.
• Community Council – Provides mental health services to children, individuals and families in need, as well as mental health and addictions education for groups.
• Youth Outreach – PCHAS provides after-school support services such as counselling, life skills, tutoring and transportation services for youth experiencing housing instability. Children under 14 meet in one group and those 14 and over meet in another group. Some participants may be eligible to receive accommodation.
• Therapeutic Mentoring – Mentors meet weekly with children at home, school or in the community and use personalized treatment plans to overcome any long-term crises or struggles.
Kevin R. Jenkins is the editor of Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-783-9667 or [email protected]
Now we are embedded in the community — the school district and the other agencies we work with. We have truly become a community program and a community service. – Robert Giegling, PCHAS Vice President of Programs