HELENA — In October, Florence Crittenton will reopen its Youth Maternity Program. Due to staffing shortages, related to the pandemic, they temporary closed the program in November of 2021.
“This is one of our foundational programs of our 125-year history. This is probably what people know us best for, which is providing those residential services for those really really young, very vulnerable moms and their babies,” said Carrie Krepps, the Executive Director at Florence Crittenton.
This program serves woman ages 12-21 who are pregnant or parenting.
It aims to serve women who have often experienced significant trauma, homelessness, mental health issues and substance use disorders.
“A huge component of it is safe and stable housing,” said Krepps, “24/7 staff. It’s a highly therapeutic environment. So, all their services, therapeutic services, if there’s substance use disorder, case management, groups, life skill development, education support.”
The moms are even able to use their childhood programs so they can return to school.
When the program reopens at their Harris facility, they will be able to serve up to four families at a time.
In June, they broke ground on their new facility, named Project Sunshine.
The work on the facility has been ongoing and will allow them to care for more families when work is completed.
“The new Cooney campus project will definitely help us. We’ll be to go from just four families that we can serve in the youth maternity home right now, to up to six families, possibly even a little bit more,” Krepps said.
Work currently has not started on residential areas, but they are still expecting a completion date of spring 2024.
“We’re working though our early childhood program,” said Krepps, “We still anticipate a late fall opening of the center there, which will double the number of childcare slots, so we’re very excited about that. Right now, the other piece were working through is our infrastructure phase.”
You can find more information about the Youth Maternity Program and Project Sunshine at florencecrittenton.com.