Construction ready to begin on a new home for women in crisis

Construction ready to begin on a new home for women in crisis

CHAMPAIGN — Half the money has been raised and construction is ready to begin on a new home for women in crisis, to be called Merci's Refuge.

A groundbreaking has been set for 2 p.m. Sept. 29, and the public is invited, says Greta Henry, director of the Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center's Champaign ministries, the organization building the home.

Merci's Refuge will be built just east of the Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center at 205 Wilbur Ave., C, behind the Salvation Army's Red Shield Center on North Market Street.

Living Alternatives, a Christian organization that says it's mission is saving the lives of unborn children, needs to raise about $600,000 in all for the project and is continuing to raise funding, Henry said.

The home will offer a residential program for pregnant women who have made a decision to keep their children to parent or place for adoption. It will also offer a refuge for non-pregnant women in a variety of crisis situations, for example, women who have been in abusive relationships, Henry said.

It will offer counseling, classes, mentoring and other resources for women trying to get their lives back on track, she said.

"It's a residential program offered at no cost to nurture a woman in crisis as she becomes a person as God created her to be," she said.

The 4,800-square-foot home will start out with occupancy on the first floor only, with space for eight women age 18 and older. But in time the organization hopes to be able to afford to finish the basement space and add rooms for eight more women, Henry said.

Plans are to have the home ready to open next spring, she said.

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