Promising Futures of Central Indiana, a not-for-profit that helps families and youth in Hamilton County, announced the closing of its Pregnant and Parenting Teens program earlier this month.
While that one program itself closed, Promising Futures continues to operate eight other programs, including anger management classes, counseling, parenting classes and outreach concerning the Indiana Lifeline Law.
A total of 28 mothers and children were using the program. Pregnant and Parenting Teens provided a group home for girls under the age of 19, apartments for women under the age of 22 and community-based services, such as guidance and case management, according to Stephanie Lyons, executive director of Promising Futures.
Lyons said the program gave mothers a safe environment, and with the group home and apartments closed, their options are not ideal, with “couch surfing” from friend to friend or family-member to family-member a reality.
“The community is just losing out on the supportive services of getting these girls and the fathers and the babies really started off on a good solid foundation in order to grow from, so it’s really difficult (to deal with),” Lyons said.
Funding for the program ran out on Feb. 28. Lyons said the program was funded by a five-year federal grant. Promising Futures applied for another $1 million, five-year grant last year that would have taken effect at the beginning of March.
No funding announcements were being made earlier in the year so Promising Futures started asking questions and working with Rep. Susan Brooks and Sen. Joe Donnelly’s offices.
Funding announcements were delayed because of sequestration. Lyons said the Administration for Children and Families, a source of funding, may not even make any budget cuts.
Lyons said they kept the program open during March – which costs $23,000 to $28,000 per month to run – to see if an announcement would come.
She said if funding became available, the program, with some changes, would return.
To learn more about Promising Futures, visit www.promisingfutures.org.