A home for abused girls opens in Jackson today. The "House of New Beginnings" will serve teen girls who have experienced mental, physical or sexual abuse. The shelter was founded by three Jackson residents who saw a need for this type of home in the community.
"There are so many homeless and abused teens in this area that it was really necessary, and no one else was doing it and so they just stepped up and said... we're going to do it," explained Mike McGuire, one of the founders of the House of New Beginnings.
The facility can house twelve teenage girls and will provide resources for those who cannot stay. The founders were concerned that these girls, ages 12-21, are a particularly neglected population.
"Sometimes teens are forgotten. There's services for teens. There's services for adults. There's services for kids under a certain age, but there's no services for teens," said Frances Keane, another founder.
During their time at the home, girls will learn life skills like cooking and budgeting. The House of New Beginnings also hopes to educate teens in their community about dating violence, in hopes that they will stop abuse before it begins.
"Some of the behaviors... they're probably used to it. They come from their own family. They see it around them, and they don't actually know what is a healthy relationship," said Keane.
The House of New Beginnings hopes to give all teen girls in Jackson somewhere to turn. They will begin processing requests for residency today. Females who are between the ages of 12 and 21 and need a safe place to stay can apply. Girls will be expected to go to school and will receive assistance to do that. Teens will also have individual and group counseling sessions.
For more information, you can contact the shelter at 517-962-5081. An open house will be held today from 3-7 so that members of the community can tour the home. The home is funded by private donors---no government grants. The founders hope that anyone who needs help will apply to stay at the home as soon as possible