Plus One Guidance Center, which provides pregnancy counseling and support, is planning an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, at its newly renovated site at 35 Market St. S.E.
The center acquired adjoining space in the building they were renting and spent the summer expanding and remodeling.
“We’re ready to show off the changes to the community,” said director Mary Helen Wipf.
They added two visitation rooms, two initial visit rooms, an office, laundry room, bathroom, a large storage room, and two boutiques — one for baby clothes and items and one for maternity wear. Donations of gently-used baby or maternity items are always welcome.
“We also have space where we want to put an ultrasound to listen to the baby’s heartbeat,” Wipf said.
“We functioned out of the old section while they were working on the new, then we moved into the new section while they worked on the old,” Wipf added. “We worked with plastic and dust, but didn’t close.”
Since opening in February 2015, they have seen about 90 clients and have had 500-plus client visits. Clients are encouraged to take any of several classes which are offered weekly.
Clients who attend the weekly education programs earn points that can be redeemed for maternity or baby items in the boutiques.
Along with parenting classes, they offer a sexual integrity program for young people, which teaches about healthy relationships, said client services director Angie Schutt.
Most participants in this program have been ages 13 to 20.
“That has been amazing,” Schutt said. “Nothing is offered quite like that.
“I manage the curiculum and we modify the program to fit the needs of the client,” Schutt said. “A lot of the community doesn’t know what we offer.”
A new program will minister to women who have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth. Schutt said they have both Spanish and Karen interpreters they can call on, and they have expanded to offer programs in Spanish.
“The board has determined we will provide services until the child is 2 years old,” Wipf said. “We would like them to be independent and have a support system — especially young moms. With love as our motivation, hearts are touched and we’re seeing lives change.”
Instances she points to are:
• A 14-year-old facing an unplanned pregnancy receives information about alternatives to abortion and choses to parent her baby with her mom’s support. She learns how to care for a newborn, about employment skills and money management, and how to parent a young child.
• A 17-year-old facing an unplanned pregnancy at the beginning of her senior year celebrates the birth of her child and her high school graduation!
• An 18-year-old facing an unplanned pregnancy receives emotional support, prenatal and birthing information, maternity clothes and baby supplies after being referred to the Center when her family turned their back on her.
“We want to help empower them but not enable them,” Wipf said. “The response is very appreciative, and gives them dignity and respect.”
They have worked with clients ages 13 to 35 within a 90-mile radius of Huron.
“We’re just here to support them,” Schutt said. “People who volunteer here really care.”
The community has also been a great source of support for the center.
“We had a lot of help with the remodel,” said Schutt. “Businesses donated labor and materials. There are lots of people who have given.”
Working on the renovation were Don Hofer Construction, Freddie’s Electric, Warren Barton and Dennie Mead.
Juanita Glanzer helped with painting, along with board members, and she was also interior designer for the Center.
“Support from the community, churches and businesses has been tremendous,” Wipf said.
Their annual major fundraiser, Snowflakes and Sweets, is planned Jan. 20 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Fine Arts Center. It begins with a large assortment of goodies and coffee, with a variety show featuring local talent at 7 p.m. This year’s theme is Broadway Musicals.
Tickets for this fundraiser will be available beginning Dec. 10 during the open house, as well as at Dakotaland Federal Credit Union.
The center is open Monday and Wednesday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Call 605-554-3330 for 24/7 assistance.
PHOTO BY CRYSTAL PUGSLEY/PLAINSMAN
Plus One Guidance Center director Mary Helen Wipf, standing, and client services director Angie Schutt pose in the new foyer created during a remodeling project that added much needed space to the pregnancy counseling center, located next to Dominos Pizza, at 35 Market St. S.E. An open house is planned from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10.