A bedroom with rocking chair used for overnight and evening emergency childcare visits at Jeremiah's Place

‘Crisis Nursery’ to Fill Gap in Services, Open Next Year

Pittsburgh Post Gazette - logo

Originally Published On: December 13, 2012
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Not every parent has a place to go in crisis: Even Mary and Joseph struggled to find a place to house their newborn.

To give parents a place to take children in time of crisis when they have no safe options is the goal of a trio of local women who are working to open a “crisis nursery” in Pittsburgh.

Some 70 such nurseries exist in the United States and Canada, but the closest to this area are in York, Philadelphia and Cleveland.

The nonprofit center, to be called Jeremiah’s Place, is set to open in the new year in East Liberty, a neighborhood that planners say is widely accessible by public transportation.

Its mission is to be a temporary safety net for children who are at risk for abuse because either a parent is under severe stress or has a family emergency but no place to leave children under the age of 6.

Plans call for the nursery to be open 24/7 throughout the year to provide temporary care for up to three days.

“While the children receive love and care, staff will work with parents to … get connected with services in the community and be ready to parent again,” said Jeremiah’s Place founder Eileen Sharbaugh of Mt. Lebanon, a former preschool teacher. She and her husband David have four grown children and have been foster parents.

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