Epworth Children and Family Services provides crucial help for teens

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ST. LOUIS - Not everyone has the support needed to build strong families. Those who require a little guidance can get the help they need from Epworth Children and Family Services.

Former client Princess McDaniels found Epworth at the right time. Her son was an infant when she stumbled across Epworth’s teen drop-in center in Normandy.

“I was just getting out of high school and I went to UMSL, it’s right down the street, and I used to ride the bus back and forth,” said McDaniels.

Once inside, she found a wealth of resources. Each year, nearly 13,000 children and families are assisted in their journey to self-sufficiency.

“We offer comprehensive services to youth and families in crisis…We offer emergency and transitional housing support, we also offer behavioral health and residential therapies and psychological services,” said Michelle Tucker, Chief Executive Officer of Epworth Children and Family Services.

McDaniels, 22, found housing and a job through Epworth. As the oldest of six children, Princess wanted to move on her own so as not to be burden to her mother. Many teens end up at Epworth because they are homeless, most have aged out of the foster care system. At least 40 percent of homeless youth have spent some amount of time in foster care.

“Every day of the week, we send two to three staff into hotspots across the community in St. Louis where we think homeless youth may be congregating, and they will talk with them about our services. And hopefully connect them with our drop-in center and shelter and get them off the streets,” said Denna Allsman, Assistant Director of Older Youth Services.

Between 30 and 35 teens are served at the center daily. They can shower, wash clothes, get a hot meal, and connect with resources.

Epworth Children and Family Services is committed to self-sufficiency with dignity.  To ensure continued support for families in crisis, the public is invited to support Epworth's  Wine Dinner and Auction at the Ritz Carlton, Saturday November 11.

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