CEDARS holds groundbreaking for new facility aimed at helping pregnant, parenting teens
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A new chapter is officially underway at CEDARS, the Lincoln nonprofit that offers a variety of services to children. On Friday, a highly anticipated groundbreaking took place for a new facility to help pregnant and parenting teens.
At the groundbreaking, it wasn’t just earth that was being moved. As President of CEDARS Jim Blue put it, Lincoln is moving in a new direction entirely.
“I know of no other program in the United States of America,” said Blue.
The program aims to offer care for some of the city’s most vulnerable.
“Working with pregnant and our parenting youth being able to offer them the services that are needed,” said Melissa Nance. “A lot of times, there’s a lot of generational trauma that goes along with that and so we’re hoping to break some of those cycles, as well.”
According to a survey conducted in the spring of 2022, there were more than 350 youth experiencing homelessness in Lincoln. Of those, 85 were either pregnant or parenting their own young children.
It’s a road almost impossible to walk alone.
The Carriage House, a roughly 7,000 square foot structure, will give up to 24 teens each year a place to stay and a community to fall back on, complete with mental-health services.
“It would be this life saving resource, I believe, for them, to teach them the skills of successfully living on their own,” Blue added.
There was a shakeup in funding plans at one point, when Governor Jim Pillen struck down one source of revenue for the project with a line item veto this year. Despite that, the public-private partnership brought in the money needed to make it happen even quicker than expected.
“So, when we talk about kids who are in this kind of desperate situation and this unique approach to helping them, I knew that Lincoln would come forward with the funds necessary to build this,” Blue said.
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