expansion allows providence house to help more of the region's neglected children

Providence House has spread its arms just a little bit wider to Northeast Ohio abused and neglected children with the recent expansion of its facilities.

The Ohio City-based agency, which stands as the first crisis nursery in Ohio, renovated its current at W. 32nd Street and Lorain Avenue location and added 6,500 square feet of space, which combines the children’s shelter and services. As a result of its growth, Providence House will be able to serve an additional 125 at-risk children each year, notes executive director Natalie Leek-Nelson.

"All of our kids are moved over," Leek-Nelson says.

The expansion is the first part of a $2 million, three-phase project designed to allow the nonprofit agency to better serve Northeast Ohio families in crisis. Providence House has raised $2.3 million since launching its "Protect the Promise" campaign in spring 2011. Not only will the agency be able to provide more short-term housing for kids unsafe in their homes, it will also increase the ages of children served from newborn to six up to the age of 10.

"Now the older brothers and sisters in the same crises as their younger siblings will be helped," says Leek-Nelson. "We've created unique educational spaces with computers and academic resources so these kids can catch up on their schoolwork."

The second phase of the “Protect the Promise” capital campaign will include a new family center that will take over an existing building across the street from the expanded facility. The third and final phase involves construction of a 60,000-square-foot children and family campus.

SOURCE: Natalie Leek-Nelson
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
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