To the editor:
As the director of New Horizons Crisis Center, I am writing to provide clarification regarding the recent article about the Fields of Grace endeavor.
In the article, it was mentioned that the founders were working with NHCC and "contracting with them." NHCC staff has met with the founders on two occasions to explain our Crisis Nursery program since they plan to provide "crisis care." With a concern about an overlap of services, we have been open to meeting and willing to share ideas. However, NHCC is not contracting with the Fields of Grace endeavor to provide services. Based on my understanding of their proposed programs, I also feel that a further explanation of our Crisis Nursery program is needed.
NHCC was incorporated as an operating nonprofit in 1981 and this year marks our 30th anniversary. Our agency began the Crisis Nursery program in 1999. The mission of Crisis Nursery is to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing a safe environment for children and offering a non-threatening resource for parents experiencing a crisis situation.
When parents find themselves in crisis, they may be temporarily unable to care for their children. Our Crisis Nursery program provides crisis care, which is short-term, nurturing care 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to children ages 6 weeks to 12, among other parenting education services and resources.
While the Fields of Grace endeavor appears open to providing any type of care for parents with nontraditional or traditional hours, our program is reserved for families in crisis. Our crisis care also has no cost to parents, while their endeavor will charge.
Our program utilizes daycare and foster care providers as our crisis care providers. The providers must be licensed and compete our application and orientation process.
We choose licensed providers as our Crisis Nursery sites because in a rural area such as ours, we have found that a facility is not cost effective and are usually only available in metropolitan areas.
In economic times such as these, we have seen family needs dramatically increase. In less than three years, our services have quadrupled. Jan. 1March 31, 2011, we provided 983 hours of crisis care. Crisis Nursery serves Lincoln, Lyon, Murray and Redwood counties and we continue to meet the needs of families. Parents have commented on the respectful and nonjudgmental support we provide during a time of crisis.
Crisis Nursery is currently funded by the Otto Bremer Foundation, United Way of Southwest Minnesota, Redwood Area United Way, Redwood Falls Rotary Club and other community donations. Our program is community supported and has not received state or federal funds since 2007. Funding is a challenge and we are constantly looking for new opportunities and partners. For this reason, I challenge the southwest Minnesota community to become more involved in our established program, so that we can continue providing these invaluable services.
If anyone has questions about our Crisis Nursery program at NHCC, I welcome you to contact me at 532-5764.
New Horizons Crisis Center