Monday, 14 May 2018 14:56

John 3:16 Center adds to services with lake property, Refuge & Strength House

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The lakefront property. The lakefront property. Contributed

The John 3:16 Center is adding to its services this year through its Warren County lakefront location and through the opening of Refuge & Strength House, a single-family dwelling for qualifying families who have experienced catastrophic loss of their home.

The new opportunities add to its list of services it has offered in its nearly 20 years, services which reach those living in poverty in Halifax, Northampton and Warren counties.

Those programs include Wired for Success After-School, Camp J316, Emergency Food Pantry, GED and Literacy classes.

The organization also offers Positive Parenting Classes, Christmas Outreach, and others.

The new voucher program, which engages and empowers adult caregivers, is having positive impacts by building relationships that encourage life-changing results for the families served. The goal is to break the cycle of generational poverty and provide positive, safe, and educational resources for children living in poverty.

Warren lakefront property

Programs at the Warren County lakefront location will begin in the next few weeks.

The property, located beside Outdoor World, supports new opportunities for the organization. The property includes a facility with a screened-in porch, decks on the upper and lower levels, a kitchen facility and rooms for child and adult programs.

The grounds include several picnic tables, a fire pit, seating areas and a pier in shallow waters of a cove on Lake Gaston.

Activities and programs such as fishing, canoeing, teen outreach, parenting classes, financial literacy classes and additional camp activities are among the plans.

Refuge & Strength House

The Refuge & Strength House, which is a single-family dwelling, will help families who have experienced a catastrophic loss of their home through fire, flood, hurricane, or similar cause. The John 3:16 Center has been concerned for many years about families barely surviving month-to-month when they experience this kind of unforeseen disaster.

While people with homeowner’s or renter’s insurance can usually recoup much of their loss, these families can be displaced for months or even years.

This circumstance puts children at greater risk of abuse or neglect, due to the numerous changes, stress experienced by adults, and the number of caregivers with whom they come in contact.

An anonymous donor provided a doublewide and support also came from the BB&T Foundation to help CARE/John 3:16 Center provide stability for families after these crises.

Refuge & Strength House will give families a short-term place to stay while they save for first month’s rent and deposit on a permanent residence.

With the small staff at the Center, the capacity of the organization had to be considered in program planning for Refuge & Strength House.

Families who participate will have to go through an intake and agreement process that includes drug testing and a background check.

Only families with children under age 18 will be served.

The event that leads them to seek assistance must be recent, confirmed by a local emergency services agency, and involve catastrophic damage to their home.

Through the Center and other agencies which it partners with, individualized wrap-around services will be provided to assist these families in becoming self-sustaining gain. “While we are aware that there are many other critical events such as domestic violence, eviction, that can cause a family to become displaced, at this time The John 3:16 Center does not have the ability to provide the necessary security or programming to meet these needs,” it said in a statement. “However, the staff and board are excited about the opportunity we now have to serve a few families each year and make a positive impact in their lives — enabling them to leave the program stronger than ever.”

For more information visit www.john316center.org.

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