A Morgantown nonprofit hopes to begin construction next year on a shelter that will focus specifically on helping pregnant women with addictions.
People Who Care Ministries, a Christian-based group that works to help people overcome addiction, wants to raise funds to build a new facility to see to the care and rehabilitation of up to 16 pregnant women struggling with addiction.
Bruce Jennings, chief executive officer of People Who Care, said the group wants to help pregnant women with addictions, because few centers that cater specifically to them exist and because the addiction can put the developing baby at risk.
“Many women who have drug and alcohol issues, a lot of times, their baby’s more likely to be stillborn, more likely to be addicted,” he said.
Additionally, pregnant women with addictions are often reluctant to seek necessary prenatal care, Jennings said.
“For a lot of pregnant women, they don’t want to go to the doctor for prenatal care for fear of their habits being found out,” he said.
Jimmy Flener, president of People Who Care, said the group plans to construct a new facility that can shelter up to 16 women at a time.
The facility will be made up of two houses: one that the women move into while they’re pregnant to receive treatment and another where they’ll continue to undergo treatment after giving birth, he said.
“We’ll have a full-time nurse on duty and they’ll come if they’re pregnant until they give birth and then move to the second house,” he said.
People Who Care plans to hire a full-time nurse specializing in prenatal care to help the pregnant women at the new facility, Flener said.
The nonprofit plans to raise $200,000 for the first phase of construction by the time of its projected groundbreaking April 1.
In coming months, People Who Care will work to collect the funds necessary, starting with a free fundraiser at 6 p.m. Aug. 4, according to Christine Coleman, the event’s organizer.
The fundraiser will feature performances from Christian country group Summit Trace and the Mudd Family, a local gospel group.
The plan is for the concert to take place at Woodbury Amphitheater, though Coleman said she’s working on an alternate location that can be used in the event of rain.
Jennings said People Who Care will also advertise fundraising efforts through a new website that has not been launched yet, collecting donations from local churches and individuals and applying for grants to get the money together.
Jennings said he has faith that People Who Care can get the money to fund this proposed facility by April because the community will realize the value of the project.
“I believe folks will step up and help us with that cause,” he said. “I don’t have any doubt about that.”