At Pittsburgh’s only crisis nursery, providing free emergency child care services for children (ages birth through age six) for a few hours or days based on the needs of each individual family, the staff at Jeremiah’s Place are experienced at adjusting and adapting to changing needs – skills that have been especially useful over the last few months.
Between school closures, changing work environments, virtual learning and even job loss, adjusting to the “new normal” has been difficult for many families. To relieve some of that stress, Jeremiah’s Place has extended its respite care services. Parents served by Jeremiah’s Place can schedule a time to send their children to the center for a few hours or for an overnight stay – with no questions asked – providing them with time to run errands, do housework or just watch a few episodes of a favorite television show. And the children have a chance to interact with other children and caregivers in a safe and friendly environment that is following state and CDC prevention guidelines. For both parents and children, even a short break during these stressful times can provide a much-needed opportunity to regroup and refresh.
Another challenge for many local families is being able to access basic necessities. Jeremiah’s Place has partnered with local foundations, businesses and nonprofit organizations to hold grab-and-go events where families can pick up packages of food, gift cards for groceries, and other essentials such as diapers, wipes and baby supplies. More than 100 families have participated in these events, which are held approximately every six to eight weeks.
“Services for families are more important now than ever,” said Jordan Shoenberger, director of operations and development. “It’s been a difficult year for us at Jeremiah’s Place, but we’re still here, chugging along and continuing to do what needs to be done to help our families.”