Tags: Featured Feature story, Geneva Lake West
OPEN HOUSE -
The Agape House is having an open house Sunday, April 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. at its new transitional home at 230 S. Main St., Walworth. At 1 p.m., the school's choir will sing on the front porch.
March 28, 2012 | 08:43 AMWALWORTH — For more than a decade, the Agape House has offered a loving home to struggling teenage girls.
Starting April 1, the Agape House will expand its services to include a transitional home for woman between the ages of 18 and 28, and Christian-based counseling to the community.
The home, located at 230 S. Main St., is a former hair salon and is across the street from the Agape House.
The nonprofit, Christian home, purchased the building in December and completed a renovation.
The people who work at the Agape House hope this transitional home will help women prepare for life on their own.
"Another benefit is that we have a staff person living in the apartment on the first floor of the building that will oversee this transitional home and the girls," Agape House Administrative Assistant Jan Baker said. "That person will help them check out colleges, or teach them how to grocery shop, how to budget and how to find an apartment on their own. They will do all the things that parents would normally help a young lady with."
Pam Patterson, the executive director of the Agape House, said one of the main reasons the group purchased the building is to expand its ability to offer Christian-based counseling in the community.
Patterson said addiction, adoption and codependent support groups and parenting groups will be able to use the building.
Baker said the Agape House has ran out of counseling room, and the new building will allow Agape House staff to expand its services, which includes private counseling.
"For example, if we are counseling the parents, and it's not at a time where the parent should be seeing their child, it's nice and private over there and the parent can show up there and the daughter doesn't even have to know their parent is in the vicinity."
This new building has two floors. On the first floor, there are counseling rooms and a larger apartment for the live-in staff member.
The second floor has two bedrooms, which can house up to four women.
In this home, the girls may receive counseling and mentoring to help prepare them for adulthood.
"Some of the young ladies are going to come out of our program, who have lived here in our home and have finished the school program," Baker said. "Sometimes they just don't have any place to go back home where they will get the support they need to make that transition into independent living."
Baker suspects that some of the other residents will come from foster care.
"Because once they are released from the foster care system at age of 18, they really are on their own," Baker said. "The statistics on what happens to them is really sad."
Baker said the transitional home isn't large enough to house women who have children.
"The apartment upstairs has two bedrooms, it is not huge by any means, and I don't think it would be feasible for someone with children," she said.