DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - Darlington is opening the first ever teen pregnancy center for girls. The home is meant as a safe haven for at-risk or pregnant teens, and provides several resources to help get them back on their feet.
The home is called The Place of Healing and is located on Pearl Street. Deandra Ketter started the home...saying she's been working on the idea for the last ten years. Ketter says the home will sleep up to ten girls and their children. Services, including transportation to and from work or school, daycare, and counseling will be provided to help them overcome personal challenges.
Ketter says the mission is to help at-risk girls get back on their feet and learn how to be strong and independent women, teaching healthy living, and family budgeting. She also says steps to give their children up for adoption will be available if necessary.
"Just because they have a child, that does not stop them from being who they've been called to be. So we help them through school, college, jobs, we'll transport them to work, and we'll keep their children while they do that. We want them to save their money. We want them to do research on housing, and we're going to help them get housing." said Ketter.
Ketter says the demand for a home like this in Darlington is very high, and is the only one of its kind in the Pee Dee area. She says the home will open in November and is already booked up, but they will be looking to expand soon.
Ketter says the home is currently in the process of building a website. If you would like to donate to The Place of Healing, Home for Girls, send donations to:
The Place of Healing Inc.
P.O. Box 443
Darlington, South Carolina 29532
Just down the street from that pregnancy center, a homeless shelter in Darlington has been shut down after police say the building was unlivable. Those who run the building say they disagree.
Darlington Police Chief Daniel Watson says there were already concerns about having a homeless shelter next door to a day-care center, but now the real concerns are whether or not the building is even fit to be a shelter.
The building was closed yesterday for not being up to code. A sign was placed on the door that read "It has been determined that the occupancy of this building is in fact, illegal."
According to Chief Watson, the building was checked back in late July after he got word that it was being used to shelter the homeless. He says the building failed the inspection, with electrical issues, malfunctioning fire doors, and exposed fixtures and outlets.
He says the owners were given three separate chances to meet the requirements, but failed to do so. The building is currently listed as a church, and is allowed to operate, but will no longer be allowed to exist as a residence. Chief Watson says it is simply a matter of life safety, and the state of the building does not meet the laws requirements.
Administrators of the building say they disagree with the cities decision to shut down the shelter, and they plan to dispute the issue.